NEGAUNEE - Is it possible to make a park even greener than it already is? City of Negaunee officials have been designing the proposed Jackson Mine Park in downtown Negaunee to include a rain garden, a green-roof pavilion and other environmentally friendly elements.
"This is an effort to create a green park," said City Manager Gerald Peterson.
Peterson said the park will include a pavilion with a living roof that will feature native plants. The rubber roof, topped with soil, will keep the structure cool in the summer, Peterson said.
Negaunee City Manager Gerald Peterson explains the plans for the new Jackson Park to new council members at a special meeting held in November. The park is designed to bring more traffic through the Negaunee downtown. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Bill Sanders, a landscape architect, designed the park layout and included a rain garden in one of the parking lots.
"They collect rain and percolate it back into the soil instead of the sewer," Sanders said. "Environmentally, the more you can put back in the ground and keep it out of the sewer system the better."
Sanders said a living roof can as much as triple the lifespan of a roof, making it much more sustainable than ordinary roofing materials.
"It's just understood that communities are looking for sustainable design, construction and maintenance," he said. "That's really our experience to approach land development from an environmental stewardship."
In the construction of the park, Sanders also plans to move trees and replant them instead of cutting them down and planting new ones.
He said reusing materials - and sometimes entire structures - has become a trend in design.
"I think people are really starting to understand the value of existing structures from the natural resources standpoint," he said.
Plans call for the park to be created between Tobin and Merry streets, with Jackson and Iron streets ending at the park. A section of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail will run through the park.
Peterson said another public hearing will be held on the creation of the park at a future city commission meeting.