Joint Recreational Authority
For Rec. Authority meeting information and other questions please contact Matt Cowall, Executive Director, at 231-929-3696.
The City of Traverse City and Garfield Township Recreational Authority was formed in 2003 under the Recreational Authorities Act of 2000, which permits two or more municipal bodies to form a joint authority for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, operating, maintaining or improving public parks, a public recreation center, a public auditorium, a public conference center, a public museum, or a public historic farm.
In 2004, Garfield Township and Traverse City voters approved a ballot measure to fund the acquisition and improvement of three properties under the guidance of the Joint Recreational Authority:
- The former Smith-Barney Building in Traverse City,
- Hickory Meadows in Garfield Township, and
- The Historic Barns at the Grand Traverse Commons in Garfield Township.
The capital projects were financed through a 20-year General Obligation Bond, after which the Recreational Authority will dissolve and the parks will be dedicated to the City and Township for public use in perpetuity.
To date, the former Smith-Barney Building has been demolished and replaced with the Open Space in downtown Traverse City, which has been landscaped to transition with the rest of the public land on the bay. A management plan for Hickory Meadows has been developed and trailways improved there to maintain the park as a natural area for passive recreation. Significant structural stabilization efforts have been completed at the Barns, and a Master Plan has been adopted to help guide the future public enjoyment of the property.