The Friends of Ingham County Parks (FRIENDS) a non-profit organization is seeking individuals from the community to join our Board of Directors.

Ingham County Parks:  Burchfield Park, Hawk Island Park and Lake Lansing Parks North and South.

Mission: THE FRIENDS OF INGHAM COUNTY PARKS support, identify, plan, fund and implement improvements within the Ingham County Parks. Through active citizen involvement and in conjunction with the Parks Department we provide financial assistance to support park operations that enhance the quality of life for park visitors.

Active board members may contribute to the FRIENDS Board in a host of ways by facilitating or arranging meetings with potential donors, chairing a sub-committee, volunteering at events or offering professional services to the FRIENDS that will advance and support the FRIENDS mission. Board members are asked to serve a three year term. The FRIENDS Board meets four times annually and may set additional special meetings should a need arise.

The Friends of Ingham County Parks is a 501 (c) (3) organization.  The FRIENDS were established in 1999 and have raised over $600,000 for the parks including funding for playgrounds, land acquisitions, drinking fountains, wheel chairs, school field trips, camp scholarships, and concert programming for the Lake Lansing Band Shell.

For more information visit our website at or call Karen Fraser at 517-244-7186 or

2013 Touch a Truck

002The Friends of Ingham County Parks are happy to host the 2nd Annual Hawk Island Touch a Truck.  Join us on September 21st from 11 am to 3 pm at Hawk Island.  Bring the kids and check out the BIG RIGS kids love.  Joining us again this year are CATA, Dean Transportation, Consumers Energy, P.J.’s 25 Hour Towing, Two Men and a Truck and more.  We continue to seek vehicles and equipment to add to the event.  Contact us if you or your business would like to join the fun. 

030More fun for the kids includes a straw maze, education animals from Potter Park Zoo, TIGGER the Bounce House and Disc Golf.  Food and beverages will be available. This event is a fundraiser to support FREE school field trips for children. 

Adults – $4     Kids $2 (12 and under)      Family $10 (up to 5 people)

Questions: 517-244-7186  or

Cuisine and Carousels: Tickets on Sale Now!

Carousel logo with food

August 15, 2013   .   6:30 – 9:30 pm  .    Lake Lansing Park South

You are invited to the first annual Cuisine and Carousels event, hosted by the Friends of Ingham County Parks.  Cuisine and Carousels is a celebration of the historic traditions of Lake Lansing Park and our community’s cherished memories of the past amusement park!  Spend an evening with friends and neighbors at beautiful Lake Lansing Park.  The event features mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres, sweets table, jazz, silent auction and Michigan wine and beer!  Event proceeds benefit your Ingham County Parks.

A peek at what the auction and raffle offer:  One night stay at the Cozy Koi Bed and Breakfast, Lugnut Tickets and memorabilia, Potter Park Zoo membership, Tickets to Impression 5, Spagnuolo’s gift card, Golf outings and more!

We thank our 2013 Sponsors!

Arlene McDaniel Trio – Bad Brewing Company – BRD Printing – Burdorf Winery – Events to Rent – Image Creative Group – Information Systems Intelligence – Morton’s Fine Catering – National Carousel Association – Physicians Health Plan – Plante Moran Wealth Management – Playmakers – Spartan Irrigation – Van Atta’s Greenhouse

2013 Ticket Sales Closed. Thank you!

Cuisine and Carousels Event

PrintFriends announce Cuisine and Carousels Event.

The Friends of Ingham County Parks are pleased to announce the Cuisine and Carousels event to be hosted at Lake Lansing Park South, August 15, 2013. The event, established to celebrate the rich history of Lake Lansing and the fond memories of the Amusement Park where the roller coaster thrilled, the Ferris wheel rose high and the carousels charmed all.

We look forward to spending the evening with friends and neighbors while enjoying delectable hors d’oeuvres and sweets, jazz by the Arlene McDaniel Trio, Burgdorf Winery, Bad Brewing Company, raffle and more! 

Join us at the park Thursday, August 15, 6:30 – 9:30 pm.  Tickets on sale soon, $60 per person.

This fundraiser event supports your Ingham County Parks. 

Friends Awarded Grant

Friends of Ingham County Parks receive $10,000 grant
from Capital Region Community Foundation.

The Friends of Ingham County Parks are pleased to announce a grant of $10,000 has been received from Capital Region Community Foundation. The grant for “Ingham County Parks FREE School Field Trips,” will provide funding to support the cost associated with over 14,000 school children who visit the Ingham County Parks each year.

Capital Region Community Foundation received 129 grant requests for consideration this year. “We are honored and thankful that the CRCF Grant Review Committee saw value in our request,” Karen Fraser, Director of Development for the Friends said when receiving notification of the grant being received.

The Ingham County Parks have always had a program that provided free picnic shelters to schools and youth groups during the week. Along with that came free entry for the school busses transporting the children. Until the last three years the Parks Commission was able to provide this program with little concern of the cost. Working with a smaller operating budget has caused the Ingham County Parks to look closely at several free programs offered by the Parks and how they can be continued.

Historically, the Friends focused on projects such as the Hawk Island Playground or the Lake Lansing Band Shell. When approached by the Parks Department to support addition funding for the Parks, Friends of Ingham County Parks Vice President, Alfreda Schmidt was quick to support the concept of a broader fundraising role for the Friends. When Mrs. Schmidt learned that the grant from Capital Region Community Foundation had been received she noted “this is exactly the kind of financial support the Friends want to provide to the Parks, we have to make sure children can come to the Parks.”

The Friends of Ingham County Parks (FRIENDS) is a non-profit 501 c 3 organization formed in 1999. The FRIENDS are a group of citizens committed to supporting, identifying, planning, funding and implementing select improvements within the Ingham County Parks system. Through active citizen involvement we strive in conjunction with the Parks Department to provide financial assistance to support park operations to enhance the quality of life for park visitors and county residents.

Happy Birthday Hawk Island!

Community Built Playground Grand Opening - 2004

Community Built Playground Grand Opening – 2004

SBC Volunteers - Playground Construction 2004

SBC Volunteers – Playground Construction 2004

Two of our favorite volunteers - Playground 2004

Two of our favorite volunteers – Playground 2004

The beginnings of a Splash Pad! - 2006

The beginnings of a Splash Pad! – 2006

Building more Boardwalks - 2007-2008

Building more Boardwalks – 2007-2008

Ten years ago January 1, 2003 Hawk Island Park opened its gates as a fully operational Ingham County Park! While this may sound slightly corny – can you even imaging the City of Lansing and Ingham County without Hawk Island Park?  Even if you can, why would you want to?  This amazing park nestled in the south end of Lansing next door neighborhoods and business, is in my humble opinion one of the best things that happened in Ingham County in the last decade.

In 2003 the park was open with the beach, trail, picnic shelters, fishing docks, pedal boats and some really small trees!  Before the year 2003 had ended, an amazing group of residents led by Jim Spackman and Alfreda Schmidt engaged the community to donate funds to build a playground.  In 2004 the playground was built with the helping hands of 2,000 residents and thank you Mother Nature 7 days of unforgiving rain! But we did it and the community built playground remains an outstanding play place for children. 

In 2005 it may seem like we were resting on our laurels, but the Ingham County Park staff was busy putting together a grant application to build a Splash Pad.  In 2006 that mission was accomplished and in late summer the Splash Pad opened.  Over the course of several years with visitation to the park climbing to well over 1/2 million people each year, we have planted more trees, that are graciously growing, installed efficiency items such as hand dryers and attacked several landscaping projects.

In 2013 the community has again welcomed an addition to the park and this time it is geared for winter fun!  The Hawk Island Snow Park has thus far been a huge hit within our community. Park visitors can enjoy the tubing side of the hill or snowboard on the terrain park.  I suspect that with time and experience under our belts, this will only get better! 

We hope you have been enjoying Hawk Island over the past decade.  Who knows what may come in the next 10 years!

New Year Changes

Happy New Year!  Amazing that it is 2013 when it seems like just yesterday the world was looking ahead to Y2K!  Looks like all is well once again!

As most of you know the Parks have been working with far less funding than in past years.  Budget reductions – I should say significant budget deductions began in 2010 when over 24% of  appropriation funding was eliminated. More decreases have followed each year and again in 2013.  This year, sadly the Parks Department has  lost one staff person who will be greatly missed.  Ingham County Parks have 12.5 full time employees and hire seasonal staff to help us manage busy times.  The parks are open 364 days a year from sun up to sun down.

Our promise to you remains the same; Parks that are EXCEPTIONAL in NATURE for all 4 SEASONS. We will continue to work to have the parks available routinely and to all citizens regardless of ability to pay.

The Friends of Ingham County Parks will be fundraising in 2013 to support our outstanding park system. Check out donor options on our web page We can use your help!  cropped-winter-forest-ipad-wallpaper1.jpg

Live Long and Well

Life can be a walk in the Park! I had a wonderful conversation with a frequent park visitor today. Mrs. T. is 89 years old and frequently visits Burchfield and Hawk Island Parks! She really loves the pathway at Hawk Island when she is on her own and she and her son visit Burchfield when they can walk together.

What is really incredible is that this wonderful park visitor takes no prescription medications! She shared that she believes in keeping active and having a positive attitude. It makes all the difference in a good day or not so good day!

Definitely a game plan worth following! Moral of the story: Get to a park and walk, run or bike.

Walking & Disc Golf

What better way to spend a Saturday than being with an old friend WALKING?  Make it better by adding a new friendly activity DISC GOLF!  Burchfield Park has miles of trails to explore and two beautiful new Disc Golf courses for your enjoyment.  Bring the family and enjoy the day.  Check out the flyer for details.  Disc Golf & Walking

Burchfield Park offers has over 540 acres of park land that benefit our community through numerous recreational opportunities and natural areas.  When the snow flies Burchfield offers cross country skiing 7 days a week and a Friday evening Moonlight Ski.  Come out and enjoy Burchfield.