This is the third in a series featuring one of the city of Fenton’s nine parks, providing information on each and highlighting the amenities available to the public.
Franklin D. Adams Park is a small, neighborhood park located at the corner of South Long Lake Road and Appletree Lane. It features a half court and basketball hoop, picnic area and a swing set on just over one acre.
The park was named after Franklin D. Adams, who in the past served on the Fenton City Council for 11 years. The park is always open and has no entry fees.
On Monday, July 22, the Fenton City Council approved seeking close to $20,000 to pay for park improvements. The funds will be requested through an application to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. The project name is “Franklin D. Adams Park Improvements 2020.”
According to the grant application, prepared by former Public Works Director Dan Czarnecki, he met with the people who live near Franklin D. Adams Park and several area representatives, June Adams, the wife of the late Franklin Adams, and several city employees.
In 2009, June Adams established the Franklin D. Adams Fund, an associated fund of the Fenton Community Fund to honor her late husband, Frank Adam’s life.
“I just like being able to help,” June said in 2009. “Fenton has been good to us. Frank took a lot of pride in Fenton’s parks and recreation opportunities. It made sense to create a fund that would support his passion for the environment
Franklin D. Adams Park serves the residents of the Appletree Lane subdivision, as well as the surrounding neighbors along South Long Lake Road and the roads along Lake Fenton that include residents within Fenton Township.
The park has a sign that is surrounded by overgrown trees and plants. There also is a memorial to Jason King, the late son of Jim and Cheryl King. There is a two-seat swing, two ride-type toys, a 29- by 36-foot asphalt apron with one basketball hoop, an old baseball field backstop, two benches, two grills and two picnic tables.
There also are several trees along the perimeter and a few within the park that need trimming or removal, Czarnecki said. Parking is available along the curb
of Appletree Lane as there is no parking within the park.
“The neighbors requested the basketball area be expanded and a second hoop installed,” Czarnecki said. “They would like the trees trimmed so they look better, and the pine trees near the park sign and near the King memorial removed, to be replaced with either an ornamental tree or shade trees.
“They are requesting the baseball backstop be replaced, the swing and play toys cleaned up and receive new safety materials beneath, trees planted for shade, and additional benches and tables placed in the park,” he said.
Neighborhood representatives met with the Parks Board on July 9. The members agreed the park could use some improvements to the existing facilities. They did, however, express concerns with costs, lack of time to properly prepare an action plan and budget accordingly, and how well improvements to this neighborhood park would receive support from the community. They recommended that the Fenton City Council support the improvements and authorize applying for grant monies.
“Because of limited funds it was suggested we try to obtain grant money from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint,” Czarnecki said. “I discussed the possibility with several representatives from CFGF. They encouraged the city of Fenton to apply for a grant. There are funds set aside for the Fenton area, including funds for parks.”
The project, which will now be handled by Deputy DPW Director Daniel Brisson, is phased in with two parts. The first phase includes the safety improvements to the existing swings and ride toys, tree trimming/removal/replacements, repairs to the backstop, expansion of the basketball area, and additions of benches/tables comes at a cost of $28,600. The city’s matching portion would be $8,710 for in-kind services by the DPW.
The remaining cost of $19,890 would be included in the grant request. The second phase would include a new backstop and new play structure for an estimated cost of $130,500. Funding could be sought for the second phase from the MDNR Trust Fund, CFGF, donations and other grant possibilities.