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| 2 min read | by Doug Marrin | dmarrin@thesuntimesnews.com |

Mill Creek Park in downtown Dexter has delighted residents and visitors for the past seven years with its riverwalk, sculptures, and playground. It is a welcome oasis of natural beauty in a town that is experiencing a boom in urban development. The bucolic rejuvenation that the park offers is not only appreciated but has received awards for its design and purpose.

“Mill Creek Park has been a tremendous asset to the Dexter community. It is not only beautiful, but it also has served as the glue integrating downtown with Mill Creek, the Huron Watershed, and regional trail systems,” says Dexter City Clerk and Assistant City Manager Justin Breyer.

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Completed in 2012, the 1.4-acre public park includes an amphitheater, boardwalk, two boat launches, observation decks, a playground, and also serves as a trailhead for the Border-to-Border Trail.

To construct the park, the Mill Creek dam was removed and the banks were restored and reinforced. The park cost $1.24 million to build. Grant money provided $704,000 for the project. It was money well-spent and there are the awards to prove it.

Michigan Recreation and Park Association Award for Outstanding Landscape

The Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks) honors exemplary parks that embody the core values of the profession.  These parks emphasize the importance of parks and how they improve quality of life and contribute to the local economy by drawing people into the area.

mParks shares the value of parks and recreation by engaging with government, foundations, media and other entities. They share the story of parks and recreation to ensure adequate funding and public support, so they can continue providing value to Michigan residents and visitors.

The American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award

For more than 100 years the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has been promoting landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and networking. Sustainability is an overarching value of ASLA. The organization has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure.

ASLA’s Merit Award is presented to projects that set a standard for planning, design, and stewardship of healthy, equitable, safe, and resilient environments.

Keep Michigan Beautiful President’s Award

Keep Michigan Beautiful is a non-profit, educational public service organization of volunteer citizens whose goal is to promote the cause of beautification, recycling, and anti-littering. KMB is the only organization sanctioned by the state that recognizes and honors beautification programs and activities as well as promotes and educates the public in all aspects of beautification.

The KMB President’s Award is given to those programs or projects that involve outdoor beautification, litter prevention, and control, recycling of waste materials, clean up, site restoration and historical preservation.

“To build the Park it took great planning, community support, and the hard work of very dedicated members of the community and Village (at the time),” says Justin. “The awards really recognize the effort of those that worked hard to make Mill Creek Park a reality. And, in a state with so many beautiful parks, having Mill Creek Park recognized by multiple statewide parks organizations and an organization of landscape architects shows how truly outstanding Mill Creek Park is.”

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