MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Volunteers and grant money are coming together to make Marquette Township more livable.

A 2011 community survey listed recreation as the number-two area that residents wanted the township to work on, trailing only roads. In response, the baseball diamond at Lions Field was rebuilt three years ago, and now a skating rink has also been built there.

“We found, basically, a jewel right in the middle of our biggest population area,” Marquette Township Recreation Committee member Dave Wiegand said. “Some 56% of the people (in the township) live in Trowbridge.”

The Cliffs/Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund gave the township $100,000 for construction of the rink and a warming shed.

Volunteers have also poured a great deal of labor into the project, but before any of it could happen, the township needed the state’s permission to close the block of Erie Avenue that used to run where the rink now stands.

“In order to close a street in a platted subdivision, it had to go all the way through to the Attorney General’s office for a signature, as well as the Circuit Court for a hearing,” Wiegand said. “That took a little over a year, but we got it closed this fall, and that’s why we were so late, because we needed the street closed before we could start that.”

Construction of the rink wrapped up a week ago Thursday. The boards will be in place year-round so that the rink can be used for roller hockey in the summer.

The warming shed may not be completed this year because of the plunging temperatures, but even if it’s not, it’ll be finished next year.