[SPRING LAKE, MICHIGAN] Biggest isn’t always best. The Village of Spring Lake’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has plans in the works to be home to Michigan’s smallest park.
“Placemaking is one of our main objectives as a DDA and we are always looking for new opportunities to create gathering spaces within the Village,” said Stefanie Herder, director of the Village’s Downtown Development Authority. “We’ve been looking at ways to create more common spaces within our Social District and we have a few spaces in mind that we are focusing on.”
One of those spaces is located on the east side of South Jackson Street between Well Adjusted Chiropractic and the former Seven Steps Up.
“During the pandemic, the Village was awarded a grant to purchase a concrete cornhole set for our social district. We placed the cornhole game in this location along South Jackson Street for folks to enjoy. I kept looking at this area and thinking about how else we can enhance that space to encourage more people to use it.” said Herder.
Herder started researching small parks nationwide and found Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon. It holds the record of being the smallest park in the world with a total area of 452 square inches. Knowing this would be hard to beat, Herder started searching closer to home and could not find anything about there being the smallest park in Michigan.
“There wasn’t much out there about an official, smallest park in Michigan. I took this information and tied it in with our goals for more gathering spaces in our Social District. Why not create a new common space AND make it Michigan’s Smallest Park?” said Herder.
The new park will add amenities including seating, plants & planters, shade, and more. There are two parallel parking spots along this space, perfect for a food truck to set up for events and more.
What will this new park be named? The Village is looking for suggestions and ideas from residents and visitors.
“I love how Mill End’s Park in Portland is so small, but it still has a name and a sign. We are encouraging folks to share their name ideas on our social media posts about the proposed park,” said Herder.
Besides placemaking, Herder hopes the new park becomes a destination for visitors to the West Michigan area.
“We have over 20,000 cars that drive through the Village every day. The biggest question for decades has been ‘How do we get them to stop in the Village?’. The new developments in the Village over the past 5 years have been a big help. I’d love to see visitors stop to visit the new park, take a selfie, grab a bite to eat, enjoy a social district drink, or shop. “
The Village of Spring Lake hopes to begin work on the new park this summer.
Village of Spring Lake’s Downtown Development Authority’s Mission
The mission of the Spring Lake DDA (Downtown Development Authority) is to champion the businesses within our district, to attract new investment and growth, and to continually improve and enhance the Village experience for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
You can learn more about the DDA by going to visitspringlakemi.com
If you have any questions, please call Village Hall at 616-842-1393 and ask for Stefanie or email at email@example.com