Beach wall: Lake Antoine group conducts ‘buy a block’ fundraiser

This photo contributed by Ann Hruska shows the area where the Lake Antoine Park Partners are looking to reconstruct the retaining wall that was once along the beach.

IRON MOUNTAIN — Lake Antoine Park Partners are looking to the community for financial help on its project this summer to rebuild the retaining wall that once was along the beach.

The group in December gained $40,000 from the Toro Company’s Greenspace Enhancement Grant Program but needs to provide $25,000 as a match “to complete the project the way it was intended,” said Barb Kramer, treasurer of the Lake Antoine Park Partners.

So they’ve started a “Buy a Block — Build the Beach Wall” campaign, selling blocks for $25 to individuals and businesses.

“We have raised about one-third of the funds, but additional funding and in-kind donations are needed and appreciated,” Kramer said.

According to the Toro website, the Land. Water. Thrive. grant was issued to “help to revitalize the park in a number of areas, including stump removal, reseeding open green space, planting native shoreline shrubs, and regrading and cleaning up the beach area.”

A postcard contributed by local historian Bill Cummings shows the previous retaining wall at Lake Antoine Park. Lake Antoine Park Partners are looking to reconstruct the retaining wall and have established a campaign to raise funds.

Plans for the project include a 10-foot beach expansion and a 370-by-2.5-feet retaining wall with two stairways.

The wall should help stabilize the shoreline, discourage geese and improve the lake access and view.

“When the old wall was removed, the unintended consequence was that the beach deteriorated,” Kramer explained. “We don’t want it to deteriorate further. We also want to enhance to the beach and make it more welcoming to people.”

Construction is set to begin June 1.

Doni-Mae Rauch, a LAPP board member and one of many volunteers working on the projects, said a donor appreciation wall “with an artistic fish display” is being developed.

Lake Antoine Park Partners is a 501(c)3 organization founded to make improvements to the county park, increase its use by community members, and help it become self-sustaining.

“I want this park to survive for the future of my grandchildren, so they can enjoy listening to the community band, play at the tot lot, enjoy picnics and take part in events that LAAP is putting together,” Rauch said.

For more information, call 906-396-9843 or email to lakeantoineparkpartners@gmail.com.

To make a donation:

Checks may be made out to Lake Antoine Park Partners, P.O. Box 609, Iron Mountain, MI 49801.

A secure online store for purchases: https//store16073582.ecwid.com. Or go to the group’s Facebook page to use a PayPal link at https://www.facebook.com/lakeantoineparkpartners/.

Theresa Proudfit can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 45, or tproudfit@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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