Home

 

ANNUAL REPORT

2016

PARKS BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

MISSION: Genesee County Parks is dedicated to quality recreational opportunities for everyone and preservation of natural resources.

Vision: We see, anticipate and lead with integrity of character and create positive change.

Consistency: We maintain a standard of serving the community and doing business that treats all the same.

Customer Service: We strive to provide our guests with a quality experience from all interactions in our parks.

Integrity: We can be trusted to do what we say we are going to do with consistency, character and transparency.

Stewardship: We are committed to the responsible management of our natural resources.

Teamwork: We recognize the strength in our collective knowledge and skills to provide a greater service to our community and guests.

OUR 2016 COMISSIONERS

Joe Krapohl

(Citizen Representative)

James Washington

(Citizen Representative)

The Late William C. Lucas

(Citizen Representative)

Mike Lynch

(Citizen Representative)

Bryant Nolden

(County Commissioner)

Jeff Wright

(Drain Commissioner)

Cloyce Dickerson

(Road Commission Designee)

Joe Madore

(Citizen Representative)

Mike Keeler

(Citizen Representative)

Gloria Nealy

(Planning Commission Designee)

GENESEE COUNTY PARKS BY THE NUMBERS

OUR ACRES OF PARKS

Genesee Recreation Area:

4460 Acres

 

Holloway Regional Park:

5860 Acres

 

Linden, For-Mar, Buell and Flushing:

950 Acres

 

City of Flint Parks Partnership:

483.5 Acres

 

Total Land:

11,270 Acres

WATERS AVAILABLE FOR RECREATION

Mott Lake:

650 Acres

 

Holloway Reservoir:

1975 Acres

 

Buell Lake:

178 Acres

 

Flint River:

142 Miles

 

NUMBER OF LOCATIONS

24 PARKS

15 FISHING SITES

NUMBER OF STAFF

3,723

Programs and outreach events

74,963

Program Participants

 

373

Adaptive Recreation Programs

 

153

Special events booked in 2016.

That includes BMX events, horse shows, 5K run/walks, fundraisers, fishing tournaments, RC boats, disc golf, celebrations and meetings, a tractor drive, the Genesee County Fair, and the Warrior Dash.

 

12,586

Registered Warrior Dash participants

8,895,183

Steps taken in the Summer Playground Program.

 

13,123

Free lunches served to kids in our community.

86

Community gardens planted.

 

914

Pounds of food produced in community gardens.

MAINTENANCE NUMBERS

 

In 2016 the maintenance division maintained over

2000 Acres of Grass

 

108 Buildings and Pavilions

 

45 Miles of Gravel Road

 

8 Miles of Paved Road

 

9 Acres of Gravel Parking Lots

 

5.35 Acres of Paved Parking Lots

 

Maintenance of these facilities can include, grading, patching, crack filling, sealcoating, and plowing.  Maintenance staff also perform daily ongoing tasks as needed to keep the parks safe and looking their best such as: trail trimming and clearing, trail maintenance, trash pick-up, fence repair, tree trimming and stump grinding, vehicle and equipment maintenance and repair, mulch spreading, mowing, planting, weeding, trimming, painting, staining and more.

6,437

Total boat launch passes sold

 

8,898

Nights reserved for camping 

7,574

Total Mounds passes sold

FOR-MAR EVENTS AND PROGRAMS

For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum continued to offer a wide variety of educational nature programs to participants in 2016.  Programs included everything from weekly children’s programming, event rentals, birthday parties, public events and programs and field trips at For-Mar to For-Mar on the Road programs in schools and at community events. Also included were For-Mar on the Road programs at other park locations, community gardens and adaptive recreation programs at For-Mar and at Senior Centers and care facilities.  Participants had the opportunity to learn about nature, gardening, animals, plants, trees, weather, birds, bugs reptiles and so much more through hands on activities with engaging naturalist and horticulturalist staff.

 

FOR-MAR VISITORS

 

 

 

FOR-MAR PROGRAMS

 

 

FOR-MAR ON THE ROAD

 

CROSSROADS VILLAGE ATTENDANCE

NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER HOURS IN 2016

6,384

Total Number of Volunteers

 

45,056

Total Number of Volunteer Hours

 

$1,061,559

Value of Volunteer Hours

NEW WEBSITE

 

New website launched in October to meet changing
web standards, refresh our brand identity and
to create a mobile friendly experience for users.

 

      Bounce rate improved by 16%

 

               Time on site improved by 11%

 

             Pages per session improved

 

468,820 TOTAL WEBSITE VISITS

318,078 TOTAL UNIQUE USERS

 

 

SOCIAL FOLLOWERS

 

    Facebook: 60,908

 

 Instagram: 403

 

    Twitter: 1,856

Founded in 2004 as Michigan’s first affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Keep Genesee County Beautiful (KGCB) has been honored with the President’s Circle Award for ten consecutive years. And in 2016 Keep Genesee County Beautiful became a program of the Genesee County Parks.

KGCB works with community members and organizations to enhance parks and open spaces throughout the county, helping make – and keep – them beautiful, clean and sustainable. KGCB is also a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability throughout Genesee County, with programs that include: Working with the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission and the City of Flint to hold spring and fall household hazardous waste collections, offering education about recycling throughout the community and providing recycling bins to Flint residents. In the wake of Flint’s water crisis, KGCB has been a valuable resource for residents looking for information about recycling water bottles and used water filter cartridges.

 

COMMUNITY CLEANUPS

 

10,066
Garbage bags distributed to volunteers

 5,202
Yard waste bags distributed to volunteers

469

Litter sticks/grabbers used

22
Dumpsters filled

 

1,419

Total perennials, grasses, trees, and shrubs planted

 

242
Vacant lots mowed

 

149

Playground replacement parts installed

2
Multipurpose playgrounds built

36

City of Flint parks adopted

 

170,900

Pounds of litter and waste removed

 

HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE ITEMS DROPPED OFF FOR DISPOSAL

 

 

NEW PROJECTS, EVENTS AND

IMPROVEMENTS

TREEHOUSE

 

In 2016 Nelson Treehouse and Supply built an awesome treehouse at For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum and we were featured in an episode of the national TV series, Treehouse Masters.  For the behind the scenes look at the complete project, read the story here.

UNIVERSALLY ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND

 

Genesee County Parks continued its push to become more accommodating to all users, regardless of ability, in 2016. The most exciting project this year was the installation of a Universally Accessible playground at Bluebell Beach. With the input from representatives of local advocacy groups, Genesee County Parks worked with the manufacturer to design a playground that goes above and beyond requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We continued this push by the continued installation of therapeutic swings in our parks. Accessibility is taken into account with all major projects so we can offer all users great park services.

LED UPGRADES

Throughout 2016, with the help of Consumers Energy and their rebate programs, Genesee County Parks has reduced its electricity consumption by updating old light fixtures with new energy efficient LED fixtures. Upgraded lights can be found at the following facilities: Bluebell Beach, Bluegill Boat Launch, Davison Roadside Park, Linden County Park and Stepping Stone Falls.

 

CROSSROADS VILLAGE & HUCKLEBERRY RAILROAD 40th ANNIVERSARY

 

CONTINUATION OF ENGINE 152

The Huckleberry Railroad was busy this year with the continuation of restoration work on Engine 152, and designing of replica coaches that will be built by the Huckleberry Railroad. Work on Engine 152 is made possible thanks to a grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation.

 

DRYING SHED

Visitors to Crossroads Village will notice a new building at the Sawmill. Parks staff have constructed a period drying shed from locally sourced wood. The drying shed will be put to good use as demonstrations at the saw mill using local wood will be dried and used for construction projects throughout the parks system.

 

TRESTLE AND LOOP OF RAILROAD

In 2016 Bridge 1 was replaced increasing safety and comfort for riders. Annually the Huckleberry Railroad transports around 130,000 passengers down its eight mile round trip set of tracks. Each 40-minute journey behind our authentic Baldwin steam locomotive takes you along the shores of Mott Lake, down a stretch of the historic Pere Marquette roadbed and back into the heart of Crossroads Village. The narrow-gauge railroad’s collection of cars includes 11 original and replica wooden coaches plus a classic red wooden caboose, all of which are maintained by the Genesee County Parks railroad staff.

LIGHTS AND DISPLAYS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

 

Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad’s holiday programs are a favorite for many. In an effort to keep the program ever changing, Genesee County Parks staff created several new displays for the Halloween Program. Christmas saw three new displays located at the Crossroads Village entrance, ticket booth area and Lion’s Park located along Stanley Road in Genesee. In our commitment of going green, Genesee County Parks has continued with re-lamping current displays to LED bulbs.

 

OTHER PROJECTS COMPLETED AT CROSSROADS VILLAGE

 

Mill Street Complex roof and deck repaired

Christmas storage building expansion

Floors and desks in Stanley Schoolhouse refinished

Floors in Crossroads Café refinished

Cupola on Coldwater Road Chapel restored

 

VINTAGE IN THE VILLAGE

First Year Attendance 2,232

Genesee County Parks forged a partnership with local business and promoters of the well known Weekend in the Country shopping events. The purpose of the partnership was to bring a new unique shopping event to Crossroads Village in May during a slower time of year and add another revenue generating event to the already great line-up of events at the village. The event featured 40+ hand selected vintage vendors, artisans, makers and craftspeople from Weekend in the Country as well as local business sponsors, She Sheds and craft wine and beer on the Genesee Belle. The weather that day was in true Michigan character with moments of sun, rain, clouds and even sleet, but attendance reached 2,232 making it a successful first year event.

On July 14, the Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commissioners cut the ribbon on a new Zagster Bike station as part of the new Flint Bike Share Program. This was the first station to open in the Flint area and will allow users to rent bikes on an hourly or daily basis. You will find the park station behind the Genesee County Parks Administration Office. This station allows immediate access to the Bluegill Boat Launch trail which travels Southwest to Stepping Stone Falls and is part of the Iron-Belle Trail system. This trail also connects into the Flint River Trail system.

Since then, the Flint Bike Share Program has grown to include three more stations that bikes can both be rented from and returned to. Other program collaborators will have the opportunity to seamlessly integrate into the system going forward. Genesee County Parks envisions that as the system grows, users will be able to utilize bike transportation in a way never before experienced in the City of Flint. It will give more people the opportunity to enjoy the quality trail systems of the area and participate in an activity they may not have before.

ZAGSTER TOTAL MEMBERSHIPS BY TYPE

 

 

ZAGSTER RENTALS BY MONTH

NEW HORSE ARENA

 

2016 saw the addition of a 60,000 square foot dressage arena at the E.A. Cummings Event Center. Replacement of the main arena was identified in the Master Plan for E.A. Cummings Event Center. The new arena will allow for up to three show rings to be in competition at one time. This new arena will offer equestrian users a safe venue for future competitions.

FLINT RIVER TRAIL EXTENSION

The Genesee County Parks trail program continued in a big way in 2016. With the collaboration of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Transportation, Genesee County Road Commission and the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, Genesee County Parks continued its commitment to expanding multi-use trails offerings by continued work to expand the Flint River Trail, a local segment of the state wide Iron Belle Trail. Currently engineering work is being done on the next segment of the Flint River Trail, east of Genesee Road, in the Genesee Recreation Area. Additional segments will complement the close to 13 miles of Flint River Trail Genesee County Parks maintains each year.
 

MOUNDS PARKING LOT PHASE 1

 

Visitors to the Mounds ORV Park have long been plagued by not enough parking spaces. In 2016 Genesee County Park staff completed phase one of a parking lot improvement project that has added much needed parking space to the east of the original lot. Phase two will be completed in 2017 continuing to add parking space.

WETLAND RESTORATION AND SIGNAGE
AT MAX BRANDON

 

 
In collaboration with partners, the City of Flint and the Ruth Mott Foundation, Max Brandon Park saw multiple enhancements that were completed in 2016. Improvements were made to the wetland area with the restoration of native plants and the addition of an observation platform. This area will be used as an educational area to teach the public about ecology. Interpretive signing was also added to the main loop as a way to teach the public about Max Brandon Park’s cultural and environmental heritage. 

WHAT ELSE WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED

 

Linden and Flushing Trails Seal Coated

 

For-Mar storage pole barn

 

Bluegill Boat Launch trail crack filled

 

Admin parking lot seal coated

 

Elba Equestrian Complex drainage and grading of parking lot

 

Hogbacks Area pipeline work, improved trails

 

Pyles Road public access parking lot created

 

Keep Genesee County Beautiful new softball field and

basketball court renovations at Hasselbring Park

 

For-Mar Butterfly House Completed

 

Container Farm for Storage

RANGER HIGHLIGHTS

 

We’ve increased seasonal rangers from 40 to 50 people, added 2 full time rangers, added patrols to Flint River Trail and adjoining City of Flint park areas.

EQUIPMENT

 

$45,785
Cost of shipping
=
$1,053,573
Worth of equipment acquired

The Genesee County Park Ranger Division was able to obtain equipment through the government surplus purchasing system.  For a shipping cost of $45,785, $1,053,573 worth of equipment was acquired. Equipment included a variety of pieces such as hand tools, power tools, tractors, trucks, safety equipment, a fork truck and even 7 GEM vehicles.  These GEM vehicles are electric powered small vehicles similar to a “gator” which are being used by staff to move around parks doing regular maintenance work, in turn reducing the amount of gas previously needed for these tasks.  All of the equipment obtained allows for improved maintenance on Ranger vehicles and improves and increases the Ranger access within the parks while dually benefiting other Parks employees and projects.

OTHER EQUIPMENT OBTAINED

 

Vespa Ranger Trail Patrol

As trail projects continued to expand in 2016, both new developments and the increased partnership with the City of Flint to maintain and patrol the Flint River trail, there became an increased need for a Ranger patrol vehicle that could fit these areas. The Vespa was purchased to fill this need.

 

Gator Rescue Vehicle

Purchased via a $25,000 grant. It is fully equipped to both reach and remove injured visitors or those in need within the Mounds ORV area and other remote areas that previously could not quickly or easily be accessed.

OUR ECONOMIC IMPACT

Per 9/30/15 Last Audited Financial Statements

ECONOMIC IMPACT THE PARKS COMMISSION HAS

$19,521,536

The Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission makes a significant economic impact to the local community through tourism, local purchasing and local payroll. PROS Consulting LLC performed an economic impact analysis to measure the economic benefit from the operations of the Parks Commission. Tourism functions, Commission operations, and the value of volunteer services were analyzed.

 

TAX/MILLAGE REVENUE

$6,127,201

 

Accomodations Tax:
$326,371

 

69.71% of total revenue

MICHIGAN NATURAL RESOURCES TRUST FUND GRANTS

Hegel Road
Land Acquisition:

$540,200

(Matching funds: $189,800 from current
property owners and Parks funds)

Genesee County Iron Belle
Trail Segment:

$300,000

(Matching funds: $1,167,400 from TAP,
CMAQ, and Parks Funds)

 

Genesee Valley Trail Chevrolet Ave
To Stevenson St:

$300,000

(Matching funds: $100,000 from TAP funds)

Flint Riverfront Restoration
Acquisition Project:

$6,056,500

(Matching funds: $2,018,900 from C.S. Mott Foundations)

 

2016 EARNED INCOME

Total: $760,970

8.22% of total revenue

CROSSROADS VILLAGE REVENUE

 

Total:

$2,042,197

22.06% of total revenue

 

 

 

“We love our parks”. If you are wondering just how we here at the Genesee County Parks managed to get all of the work done in this report, that’s the answer. It’s our love of our parks and our love for our community that gets us up and keeps us going in all kinds of weather, all year long. And, of course, it’s not just us. Our tremendously generous Genesee County residents, volunteers, public and private partners, and local philanthropic community are all the not-so-secret ingredients to our success. We are grateful to you and we are grateful for you.

Amy McMillan, Genesee County Parks Director