A new program that helps residents remember loved ones and provides added benefit to the community is off to an encouraging start in Hamburg Township.

The latest version of policies and procedures for the memorial bench and tree project have been recently approved by the Hamburg Township Board of Trustees. At last week’s meeting of the Parks and Recreation Committee, Chairman and Hamburg Township Clerk Mike Dolan said it’s “really taken off” and that it has done so without a lot of advertising. The ultimate goal of the project is give people the opportunity to memorialize a family member who has passed away.

Dolan said that residents can pay for the total cost of the bench with a memorial plaque installed on it, and then the public can benefit from having more “beautiful benches” in the park system and on the Lakeland Trail. Dolan describes the benches as being made out of recycled milk cartons. Built to last a lifetime, he added that they are extremely heavy and conform to ADA rules. The benches will be installed with a flat concrete pad and have additional space for wheelchairs.

Dolan said that there was $700 in the budget donated from the Livingston County Consortium on Aging that was used to pay for half of the first bench, which includes the concrete and labor. The township board agreed to pay the other half. And while second bench was ordered for the purpose of having one ready for an interested resident in the future, Dolan says he’s already had a couple more requests come in, leading him to believe they may need to keep 2 in stock. Those interested in a memorial bench can call the Hamburg Township offices at (810) 231-1000 and speak to Dolan at extension 206, or Parks Coordinator Deby Henneman at extension 218. (MK)