Community raises money to protect park from erosion

Rising Waters

GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — High water levels and erosion have a West Michigan community in Allegan County working together to protect a lakeside park.  

Pier Cove Park in Ganges Township had to close for several months earlier in the year so repairs could be made after the bottom section of the steps washed away.

Dana Burd with the group Friends of Pier Cove Park is working with the township on a project to raise money to improve the seawall.  

“We’re concerned about the ends of the wall becoming exposed and washing out and if we wash out the wall, we’re going to lose the steps and the access,” Burd said. 

Erosion has washed away the bottom section of steps at Pier Cove Park in Allegan County. (Sept. 14, 2020)

The high-water levels and waves have been especially challenging this year. 

“A lot of these shore walls and everything were buried for 30 years and now they’re uncovered and we’re seeing where they can be vulnerable and trying to shore them up,” Burd said. 

Barb Johnson has been coming to the park for more than 40 years and has seen the difference. 

“The lake has been rising considerable over the years, we’ve lost a lot of the beaches,” Johnson said. 

She is encouraged by the fundraising efforts and is hopeful it will help preserve the park and the views. 

Erosion at Pier Cove Park in Allegan County. (Sept. 14, 2020)

“A great thing to come together as a community and try to raise funds and if that’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to do it to keep this open for our kids and the next generation,” Johnson said. 

Jim Vehe has been visiting the area for years but just made his first visit to Pier Cove Park Monday, quickly becoming a fan. 

“I think it falls under that, you know, little hidden gem. If you know it’s here it’s great because there’s not tons of people,” Vehe said. 

If you would like to donate to the project, visit the official GoFundMe page.

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