Cassopolis hopes to expand Stone Lake Beach after residents say it changed the town

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 3:28 PM EST
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CASSOPOLIS, MI. (WNDU) - Stone Lake Beach has been open to the public for two summer seasons.

“One of the things we realized a few years ago was that we didn’t have a great community gathering space, and we had a beautiful lake right in our downtown that was just not being utilized. So, we created this amazing free community space,” says Emilie LaGrow, the Village Manger.

After getting more feedback and assessing what could be done better, the Village of Cassopolis is now asking for public input before applying for grant funding to expand Stone Lake Beach.

Since it’s restoration in 2021, residents tell 16 News Now, the beach has significantly helped local business and united the community.

“For every business in walking distance, it had to have increased their revenue substantially. We have so many new faces and so many of our hometown people you see so much more,” says Diane Martin, a Cassopolis resident and Cook at The Twirl, located along Stone Lake Beach. “It’s hugely changed this town and I feel uniting this town,” Martin says.

The Village of Cassopolis now hopes to expand the beach and improve features that they believe will make the beach more open and accessible to the public.

New additions would include outdoor fireplaces, patio seating, 27 new parking spots, Ampitheater seating for summer concerts and the pavilion, and more.

“So, as we kind of look here, all of this, we created this space right here. On the far side of that is our historic log cabin, that was built by the settlers of this community,” LaGrow says.

If the majority of the public fills out the ‘Phase 2 Community Feedback’ survey, and agrees, expanding the beach out to the historic cabin would more than double the public beach area.

“And utilize some of the beautiful space that’s down there. Kind of clean up the back side of that and make another connecting space,” LaGrow says.

It’s just one of a few renovations the feedback survey is asking the public about in order for the Village to continue to give residents what they want when they “Imagine Cass.”

“We’ve listened to what they’ve said the last two years, and we’ve tried to put pen to paper with our design team and create that next phase of that, but now we want to make sure that we are still giving them what they want,” LaGrow says.

You can fill-out the ‘Phase 2 Community Feedback’ survey, here.