Muskegon County seeks $10M for park at former mining site

Muskegon Chronicle

Norton Shores — A community is seeking a $10 million state grant to buy a former sand mining site on Lake Michigan and convert it to a public park.

Muskegon County has applied for the funding from the Department of Natural Resources for the purchase of the former Nugent Sand property in Norton Shores.

The 377-acre park would include space for camping, hiking, fishing and kayaking, MLive reported.

An aerial view of Norton Shores.

The proposed grant would cover two-thirds of the property’s $14.9 million appraised value. Donations from company owner Robert Chandonnet and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan would fund the rest.

The property includes 1,917 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, two inland lakes, wooded areas and critical dune land.

The county will learn in December whether the application has been accepted.

Nugent Sand company mined Lake Michigan dune sand for over 100 years, beginning in 1912.

It has been considered for private development since mining operations ended, including a $50 million gated residential community that was proposed in 2013.

But Chandonnet would prefer to have the property become a public resources, spokesman Denny Cherette said.