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Park officials unveil renovations at Dodd Memorial Park

NILES, Mich. --- Officials of a popular park in Cass County unveiled brand new and what they call much-needed renovations.

Arthur Dodd Memorial Park in Niles revealed many new amenities, such as a new bridge, water trail, kayak and canoe launch.

“Our properties are so beautiful,” said Scott Wyman, director of Arthur Dodd Memorial Park. “We want our facilities to rival the beauty of our properties.”

Renovations also include camping areas for the park, two new cabins, picnic girls, fire rings, and increased parking.

Polly Judd, a local park goer, said the Dodd Memorial is a lot different than it was 31 years ago.

“It is progress, it’s good for everybody,” Judd said. “It’s come a long way and it’s ready for the new campers, kayakers, and families.”

These updates are a part of a $375,000 grant from the Michigan DNR and Cass County. The DNR put up $277,500, while the county provided $97,500 worth of funding for the renovations.

“We have a very small department and a very small budget as well,” said Wyman.

A big obstacle for the popular Michigan park that sees about 15,000 a year. Pictures at the ribbon cutting event show the park before the renovations, show how some paths and trails were hard to access.  

“Our accessibility just wasn’t where it needed to be for those say with mobility issues,” Wyman said.

Wyman said that is not the case any more thanks to these updates.

“Everything we have now has an accessibility component in it,” he said.

One of the many new features of the park Wyman said will increase the number of park goers. Wyman said people are already asking him what’s next in the park’s future.

“It was certainly a team effort,” he said. “This is community driven these aren’t my improvements these are the improvements they wanted these improvements.”

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