The Jackson County Parks Department has scheduled a public meeting for Monday, June 10, 7 pm at the Columbia Township Hall.

In 2018 Jackson County residents voted to increase funding for parks through a property tax increase.  In promoting the tax increase, Parks Director Jeff Hovarter pointed to developing the Clark Lake County Park:

boat launch
picnic shelters
clean and stabilize the shoreline
public restrooms
children’s playground area
connect the Spirit Trail to the north, and to Lake Columbia, Brooklyn and Vineyard Lake.

Hovarter said Clark Lake should be the epicenter of community events and festivals in the future.

When Columbia Township improved the park at the west end of Clark Lake, problems ensued.  There was overcrowding, drug and alcohol use, litter, and parking problems. One Township trustees commented “we made it too nice.”  Police actively enforced park rules, and problems lessened. 

The Township park has not been alone in seeing issues like these.  As late as Saturday, police arrived at the County Park responding to a call about intoxication and loud music.  In the past, vandals blew up a port-a-potty.  In another incident, two vehicles sped into park, and a fist-fight resulted. Police were called. Several years ago, the Community Center was robbed of a cherished mural.

Recently a group of Clark Lake residents volunteered their time to learn more about park regulations, proposed changes, and examine the unintended consequences of improvements.  Members of the Clark Lakes Park Commission will be attending the meeting as the County outlines plans and asks for input.