COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - About 50 people turned out last night in Coldwater for a Department of Natural Resources workshop on the future management of Coldwater Lake State park. The 2-hour session was designed to provide the DNR public input for the development of a general management plan for the park property in Branch County at the south end of Coldwater Lake currently used primarily for hunting. Interest in possibly expanding access to the park for land and water based public recreation came about last fall at the suggestion of the Coldwater Country Conference and Visitors Bureau.
Last night’s meeting allowed the DNR to gather general information from the community as well as their preferences for the park. Most seemed to want a natural setting maintained while one person spoke in favor of developing a swimming area. The state purchased the land in 1988 and its current management contract runs through the end of November of this year with a proposal for another 3 years. There is no state funding right now for an expanded park project. The money would have to come from the 11-dollar State Recreation Passport fund collected as the public purchases a park passport when they annually renew their license plates.
The next DNR meeting on the Coldwater Lake State Park is set for October for government stakeholders in the plan with the follow-up public session scheduled for December.