GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Pier Cove Park in Allegan County could soon see major improvements if enough funds can be raised for the project.
A new beer is bringing awareness to the effort, which will upgrade the public beach area on Lake Michigan.
Dana Burd, the founder of Friends of Pier Cove Park, says the small park is beloved by the community, and what the group hopes to do will make it even better.
“Ganges Township submitted a DNR grant application to do a $350,000 improvement project at the park and kind of improve the public access,” Burd said.
He says his group is trying to raise $15,000 to help Ganges Township with the local dollars that would be needed if they are awarded the DNR grant. A decision on the grant will come by the end of the year. Construction would begin next year.
“What we’re talking about doing now is to make it more accessible by adding some barrier-free parking spaces and some sunset benches and viewing areas where anyone, no matter their physical abilities, could come and enjoy the views there at the park,” Burd said.
Other improvements will be made to the fencing, steps and seawall.
“Pier Cove used to be a really busy shipping port. There were two 300-foot piers that extended out into Lake Michigan and it has a really neat history, and so we want to bring back some of the feel of that,” Burd said.
Chuck Steinhardt, the co-owner of the nearby Waypost Brewing Company, hopes the new Pier Cove Pale Ale will bring awareness to the project.
The brewery will release the West Coast style pale ale on May 29. It will only be available to purchase at the brewery site near Fennville.
“We were excited to be a part of the community, to something positive for the community, as well as protect public access to beaches,” Steinhardt said.
The brewery will make a donation contributing to the project.
Local artist Tyler Voorhees and his wife collaborated on the special can design trying to honor the history of the picturesque spot along Lake Michigan.
“Everything kind of funneled into this cove and this pier, and so I was trying to call back to that time and the thought of a guy on the pier with a fishing pole, just sounded like a nice scene to capture,” Voorhees said.
If you would like to contribute to the Friends of Pier Cove Park project, you can make contributions through the organization’s GoFundMe page.