NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — Less than a year after opening Dune Harbor Park, the Muskegon County Parks Department has closed a deal and started work on Phase Two.
The county, Nugent Sand Company and the Cherette Group closed the purchase deal last month.
The property, like the new Ottawa Sands in Ferrysburg, was once home to facilities for Nugent Sands. Owner Bob Chandonnet, alongside his daughters, Suzette Colon and Deanna Chandonnet, donated more than $8 million for the project in memory of Bob’s late wife, Lynne. The Land Conservancy of West Michigan used a trust fund grant to match the Chandonnets’ donation, allowing the project to move forward.
The first section of the park covers 214 acres including more than 2 miles of hiking trails, an inland lake and 202 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. It opened to the public in March 2022.
The second phase of the park, another 162 acres of land to the north of the current boundaries, includes another inland lake and offers another 1,660 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline.
“My wife, Lynne, began this dream,” Chandonnet said in a news release. “She always envisioned that this land would be a place many, many people could enjoy. Our family couldn’t be happier than to know this land will always be preserved and shared.”
Muskegon County formally took ownership of the property on Dec. 13. The second phase of the park is slated to open in March 2023. County officials are working to obtain master planning grants to better develop more “sustainable and equitable uses for the new park.”