New Park in City of Clare Available for Use

A new park in the City of Clare officially named The Emerald Isle Recreation Park back in July, now has ten soccer fields that are ready to use.

Voters approved to pay for some of the cost of the complex, which is almost $3 million in 2012 with a 10 year millage.

But the city parks and recreation director says the work is only just beginning.

“So starting in 2012 we looked for property and this is where the city purchased 26 acres and it was originally supposed to be soccer fields but we knew in working with the skate park committee they were looking for a place to have a home. So soccer didn’t have a permanent home and neither did the skate park,” said Carol Santini, Chairperson of Clare Parks and Recreation.

The soccer fields are available to use now and in 2021 the rest of the park will be complete with a butterfly garden, a playground, concessions, and even a paved exercise trail.

“When you’re working on a project and it’s as funds are available, you want it done now and I’m sure the community sees it at that way too. There’s a lot of work and a lot of money that goes into something like this,” said Joy Simmer, Director of Clare Parks and Recreation.

But adding a skate park was pioneered by two teenagers and their grandma.

“For the most part I was just skating around town and it’s not really safe and the businesses don’t really like that and if you wanted to go skate you had to go to Mount Pleasant so I just thought it was a good idea to create our own skate park,” said Dylan Morrish, senior at Clare High School.

After raising $70,000, seeing the skate park come to life is a dream come true.

“We’re definitely proud of the work that we’ve done and we’re glad to see it finally happening and we’re still going to keep raising money,” said Alan Winter, Clare High School Junior.

“I’m glad that we did it so that the future generations can have a place to skate,” said Morrish.

The cement will be poured on Monday and the skate park will be open to the community in a few short weeks.