- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 16, 2014

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) - A multi-year project has started to restore the Jackson park that’s home to the man-made, illuminated waterfall known as the Cascades.

Demolition work took place Monday on a concrete wall surrounding the Cascades. The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports (https://bit.ly/1wVDaN7 ) the wall, built in 1970, blocked the view of the waterfall and often is mentioned as big mistake.

Jackson County Parks Chairman Michael Way says the work will bring “is a new chapter in our beloved Cascades.”

Parks Director Scott Robbins says the demolition of the wall is the first phase of a planned 6-year project at the popular spring and summer attraction. Robbins says the waterfall will get a $1.8 million overhaul as part of the work, which will be done during the offseason.

Jackson resident Richard Skrocki was among about 50 people who attended a brief ceremony prior to the start of demolition. He says he’s “been waiting for them to do this ever since the wall was built.”

A temporary fence will be installed before a permanent archway and fence are built this spring. Officials say about 500 chairs removed from a concrete amphitheater behind the wall will be reinstalled. The final phase a new visitors’ center.

The entire project was expected to cost $9.5 million, but officials say some contractors are working pro bono.

Way says the Cascades are a place of “fond memories.” He says: “Couples have had first dates here. People have proposed here. The Cascades is truly a piece of community history.”

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Information from: Jackson Citizen Patriot, https://www.mlive.com/jackson

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