Saginaw County’s Parks and Recreation Department is celebrating 50-years of operations.

Parks Director Brian Keenan-Lechel says two major additions are coming in the next few years. The county has received almost $600,000 to install a spray-splash pad at the Haithco Recreation Area. He told Saginaw County commissioners, Tuesday, December 17,  the pad’s design will be done next year and construction to start in the spring of 2021.

A new county operated park is coming to the City of Saginaw. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has acquired the 332-acre former General Motors Malleable Iron Foundry site along the Saginaw River.  The DNR is leasing the site to Saginaw County.  The $1.6 million price tag is being funded with $600,000 in various grants and $1 million from a settlement with Dow Chemical. Keenan-Lechel said it will be a passive recreation type park with hiking paths, biking trails and observation decks instead of ball diamonds and playgrounds in a traditional park.

Since gate fees were eliminated in 2015, the number of vehicles entering Immerman Memorial Park and the Haithco Recreation Area has gone from 7,500 vehicles in 2015 to 23, 900 vehicles this year.