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Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area Design Plan


Thank you to everyone who has contributed their input to this project, including anyone who attended any of the three open houses!  The Design Plan was adopted on January 10, 2023 and  included as part of the 2023-2027 Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which provides the Township with a roadmap for projects in all of its parks over the next five years.  The adopted Design Plan document can be viewed at the following link:


Please see the following information on the Design Plan process:


The Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area Design Plan is intended to guide the future of the Commons Natural Area including recreational activity, site improvements, and environmental restoration. The Natural Area is treasured by residents of Garfield Township and people from around the Grand Traverse region. It is a significant recreational asset near the core urbanized area of the region and provides recreational opportunities such as hiking, dog walking, biking, skiing, bird watching, and more. This Design Plan is a community-based planning effort to gather the feedback from key stakeholders and the public on current conditions of the Commons Natural Area, potential design scenarios, and proposed next steps.


Map of Commons Natural Area


The Goals of the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area Design Plan are to:

  • Create a multi‐user park that meets the year‐round needs of residents and visitors for passive recreation opportunities
  • Create access between the park, adjacent neighborhoods, and other parks
  • Incorporate native landscape materials
  • Inventory, protect, and enhance the park’s natural resources and wildlife habitat
  • Develop storm water management system
  • Create project messaging and identify potential funding sources and partners


Garfield Township is working with a consultant team from Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT) on this project. Please check this page for project updates, including opportunities for public engagement.


This page last updated on 1/26/2023.

3848 Veterans Drive | Traverse City, MI 49684 | 231-941-1620 | fax: 231-941-1588