Construction is set to begin next week on the first phase of a downtown bay front park re-design in Traverse City.
Earlier this year, the Spirit of Traverse City miniature steam train was removed to make way for the re-design.
The park re-design has long called for a new children’s play area to be called the “William G. Milliken Waterscape.” Now the design has become clear. It’s an artistic expression of the water cycle, says City Planner Russ Soyring.
A city drawing shows a play area with water pouring down, simulating rain. There’s a pool of water to represent lakes and ponds. There are even some plantings to represent evaporation and infiltration.
Signs will explain the park’s meaning to children and parents.
City officials expect that eventually the water in the play area will be warmed by the sun, with a system designed by students at Northwestern Michigan College.
Originally the plan was to use a naturally flowing artesian well at the site, but Health officials say the well is too close to the surface and too easily contaminated. Instead, city water will be piped in.