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
The Late William C. Lucas
(Road Commission Designee)
(Planning Commission Designee)
GENESEE COUNTY PARKS BY THE NUMBERS
OUR ACRES OF PARKS
Genesee Recreation Area:
Holloway Regional Park:
Linden, For-Mar, Buell and Flushing:
City of Flint Parks Partnership:
WATERS AVAILABLE FOR RECREATION
NUMBER OF LOCATIONS
15 FISHING SITES
NUMBER OF STAFF
Programs and outreach events
Adaptive Recreation Programs
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.
Registered Warrior Dash participants
Steps taken in the Summer Playground Program.
Steps taken in the Summer Playground Program.
Free lunches served to kids in our community.
Community gardens planted.
Pounds of food produced in community gardens.
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.
Total boat launch passes sold
Nights reserved for camping
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 ON THE ROAD
CROSSROADS VILLAGE ATTENDANCE
NUMBER OF VOLUNTEER HOURS IN 2016
Total Number of Volunteers
Total Number of Volunteer Hours
Value of Volunteer Hours
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
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.
Garbage bags distributed to volunteers
Yard waste bags distributed to volunteers
Litter sticks/grabbers used
Total perennials, grasses, trees, and shrubs planted
Vacant lots mowed
Playground replacement parts installed
Multipurpose playgrounds built
City of Flint parks adopted
Pounds of litter and waste removed
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE ITEMS DROPPED OFF FOR DISPOSAL
NEW PROJECTS, EVENTS AND
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Cost of shipping
Worth of equipment acquired
Cost of shipping
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
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.
69.71% of total revenue
MICHIGAN NATURAL RESOURCES TRUST FUND GRANTS
(Matching funds: $189,800 from current
property owners and Parks funds)
Genesee County Iron Belle
(Matching funds: $1,167,400 from TAP,
CMAQ, and Parks Funds)
Genesee Valley Trail Chevrolet Ave
To Stevenson St:
(Matching funds: $100,000 from TAP funds)
Flint Riverfront Restoration
(Matching funds: $2,018,900 from C.S. Mott Foundations)
2016 EARNED INCOME
8.22% of total revenue
CROSSROADS VILLAGE REVENUE
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.