Muskegon County closes on Nugent Sand property

Muskegon County

The site of the new Dune Harbor Park on the former Nugent Sand Company property in Norton Shores. (May 7, 2021)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon County has successfully purchased the first phase of the new Dune Harbor Park. It is expected to open to the public around March 21, 2022 and become the county’s eighth park.

The 214-acre parcel with over 200 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, an inland lake and a 2.2-mile hiking trail was previously owned by the Nugent Sand Company. It shut down operations in 2017 after over a century in business. The property went up for sale over two years ago.

Last year, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund recommended funding for phase one of the project. In May, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4469 into law which allocates $37.8 million for state recreation. The county receive about $5 million of that money, which was used to purchase the Nugent Sand Company Property.

“The success of this project is attributed to the hard work and partnership between the County of Muskegon, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, and Nugent Sand owner Robert Chandonnet, who provided a generous $3.3 million match to the MNRTF grant allowing the project to move forward,” the county said in a press released.

Chandonnet has requested that the county name the property “Dune Harbor Park” in memory of his late wife, Lynne.

The county said the Land Conservancy of West Michigan is currently raising funds to open the park and to provide match funding for future grants.

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