ONTWA TOWNSHIP — Area residents still have time to make their voices heard regarding the future of Ontwa Township parks.

Ontwa Township is currently seeking input on its five-year parks plan. A five-year plan allows the township to assess the parks’ current conditions and plan for the community’s future recreational needs. Additionally, the plan will enable the township to apply for grants and receive funding for various park, recreation and trail projects through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

As part of the planning process, Ontwa Township is seeking community input through an online survey that can be accessed at ontwatwp.org, edwardsburgchamber.org and edwardsburgpublicschools.org. A hardcopy of the survey can also be accessed at the Ontwa Township Office, 26225 US-12, Edwardsburg.

Once community input is received by the end of this month, the planning commission will host a public hearing to draft its new five-year parks plan, and the plan will be voted on in December.

Ontwa Township Supervisor Jerry Marchetti said the survey should take roughly five minutes to complete and provide a valuable resource to the township. The 17-question survey asks questions such as: How adequately do you feel the community is served by area programming, where would you like to see trails/pathways extended or develop, how important is pedestrian connectively to you and your household, and more.

“This will help us identify any projects we want to work on. Then we can decide how we can make that happen,” he said.

One project Marchetti hopes to see identified in the five-year plan is a dog park, which he believes would be welcomed by residents.

“Everyone loves dogs,” he said with a laugh. “Those are the kinds of questions we are asking. Would [residents] like to see a dog park? Would they like to see more walking trails?”

The township has already received more than 300 responses to the survey, which Marchetti said he was happy to see. He said he would encourage every Ontwa Township resident who has not already completed the survey to do so and make their opinions known about the parks.

“That’s why we are here — to take care of the residents,” Marchetti said. “So, we really want to hear from them. What would be something they would like to see?”

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