ALPENA – Early Friday morning the first major piece of construction on a new wooden water tower at Duck Park was erected. The water tower, which is being built by Mike Kendziorski, is capable of holding 3,000 gallons of water and is 36 feel tall. It is designed to not only provide water for the gardens in the park, but offer people a glimpse of the craftsmanship from years gone by.
The new tower is located on the edge of the Thunder Bay River near the bridge that connects Duck Park and Island Park. The construction of the water tower is the first stage of a plan by Kendiorski that also will see a new wooden wooden bridge.
Kendziorski said even though people haven’t been able to see the progress being made at the park, there has been a lot of work done behind the scenes.
“I started in February and this is just phase one, but when it is complete it will show the public how things were done 150 years ago when rain water had to be collected or have it pumped up into a well and then gravity would run the water system.” Kendziorski said. “We are bringing our heritage back and making something that will be able to water the entire park system over time.”
The second phase of the project will be construction of the bridge and the last phase will be to add some enhancements to the park. Kendziorski said it is a slow process, but when it is complete the community will have yet another thing to be proud of and cherish.
“The bridge is making progress. I started that eight months ago,” Kendziorski said. “Last year we went and cut down 150 trees a and they are drying at this time. The metal work is also being done, but we have to do that off site. Next year the current bridge will likely be torn out and a throughout next summer we will make a temporary walkway, Overall I think it will take about three to five years to finish everything, because the steps that need to be taken are pretty intense.”
The bridge and water tower are not the only improvements Kendziorski, his wife Kim, and their children have made to the parks. They also built stairs, viewing platforms, and fishing platforms on Island Park. He said he doesn’t do the projects for recognition and doesn’t think about what legacy the structures will leave him. He said he does the things because he loves and appreciates the people in Alpena.
“I have a passion for this community. I started with nothing 35 years ago and I want to give them something back and doing this type of thing is the talent I have been blessed with,” Kendziorski said. “I don’t think about the legacy or how I will be remembered years from now because I have built some things. I just do it and I never think to far beyond tomorrow.”