2015-06-14 / News

County opens Torzewski, General Squier parks

BY ALEX PETRIE
810-452-2609 •

LAPEER COUNTY — Both of Lapeer’s County Parks are dedicated to notable citizens of its storied past, continuing the legacy of the namesakes, providing a place for thousands of people to visit each year, creating memories, and furthering the reputations of the men and woman to whom the parks are dedicated.

General George Squier was a military man, a great thinker, an inventor, and a pioneer in both radio and electricity. It’s said that Squier created the county’s first and only privately owned park, which he deemed “A country club for country people” in his hometown of Dryden. His country club is now known as General Squier Park. The facilities were open to the public, completely free of charge, and Squier only asked that visitors leave the park as they found it. The park was des- ignated as a Michigan Historic Site in 1977 and was later added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Since then, a waterpark has been added to the 80-acre park facility, which is located at 4725 S. Mill Road in Dryden Township. General Squier Park has a pool, and two 36-foot-tall waterslides, a speed slide, with a sheer drop, and a closed flume, which is a tubular slide. The park has four pavilions, and Forest Hall, which is available for rental for parties and other gatherings. General Squier boasts nature trails and beautiful scenic views.

Torzewski County Park was dedicated in the memory of Frances Nowak Torzewski and Ludwig Torzewski for public park purposes and opened in 1986. The park is home to a Wetlands Water Play Area, which has three pools, two large water slides, a 360-foot blue spiral slide and a 100-foot junior slide, for those 46 inches and taller. Younger patrons can enjoy scaled-down slides, spray features, water guns, raining mushrooms and a pirate ship with tunnels and slides.

In addition to the Wetlands Water Play Area, the 77-acre park, located at 2051 Pero Lake Road, boasts nature trails, a playground, a sand volleyball court, a picnic area, a softball diamond, shoreline fishing on Pero Lake and rentable outdoor pavilions and a pontoon boat rental.

Larry Saltzman of Burton is the facility manager for both county parks from May through November, handling everything from opening the parks, to the plumbing, to taking water samples, to managing food certification for concessions.

According to Saltzman, The waterpark portion of Torzewski was closed for the summers of 2010 and 2011 due to lack of funding, but the county paired up with Community Mental Health and Teamwork to staff the park, with the exception of the certified life guards.

Park hours for both General Squier and Torzewski are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and waterpark hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Water park pricing is $6 all-inclusive (slides and pools), $5 for the play pool only (no slides) and $2 for spectators with no water contact. Children 2 and under are free, and approved swim diapers are required. Concessions will be available when the water park is open, and no coolers, lawn furniture or pool toys may be brought in. No alcohol is allowed on park premises and proper bathing attire is required to use the Wetlands. Children under 12 must have an adult with them.

Said Saltzman, “I think we have a great spot for families to get together and enjoy themselves, spending the day as a family instead of a computer or a TV. I think there’s great exercise involved, playing in the pools and climbing the stairs to ride the slides.”

Both parks opened to the public Saturday, with Torzewski open seven days a week and General Squier open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saltzman says the reason for General Squier’s reduced hours is due to a need for lifeguards and a seasonal manager for the parks. For those interested, visit www.lapeercountyparks.net or www.lapeercountyparks.net for more information about both county parks.

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