A new county park that will offer playing fields and a hiking trail has had its ground broken in Genoa Township.

Fillmore County Park will be located over nearly 200 acres off of Kellogg Road and McClements Road in Genoa Township. Tuesday evening, luminaries from state and local governments were on hand to put shovels in the ground and officially kick off construction on the park. Livingston County Planning Director Kathleen Kline-Hudson said this is all possible because of a gift made by the park’s namesake. She said the land was bequeathed to them by Raymond Fillmore, who was a local resident and friend of Commissioner Jack LaBelle. Fillmore thought that a future park would be a wonderful use of his land in Genoa Township.

This first phase of the project will be highlighted by a large, all-purpose field and a 5K walking trail that will traverse 80 acres of the park. Future plans include a picnic area, an inclusive playground, and potentially more fields to be utilized by the Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority (HAPRA) and the Southeast Livingston County Recreation Authority (SELCRA).

Fifty-percent of the funding is being provided by a grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The remaining amount is being provided by the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, the Livingston County Foundation, and from 3 municipalities: Genoa Township, Marion Township, and the City of Howell. Phase one is expected to be completed and be ready for use this summer. (MK)