VICKSBURG, Mich. — The massive buildings aren’t the only parts of the Mill at Vicksburg project that are undergoing a transformation., so too, are its spacious grounds, thanks to an effort to establish a flower meadow network on the property. Stretching 5 acres on the east side of the Mill property and neighboring homes along Highway Street, the meadow will consist of wildflowers and mass-color sunflowers. It’s the first phase of a multi-year plan to establish a flower meadow network with walking trails and interpretive elements that will allow guests to enjoy while on property.
Once completed, the meadow will connect to the northeast corner of the Mill building, near where dining and event spaces will be located. The intent is to bring new life to areas immediately adjacent to the Mill where a former rail line delivered raw materials to Lee Paper Company.
Landscape crews are currently clearing land and preparing the site for plantings. While not open to the public this season, the fields are expected to bloom by late summer and provide a colorful foreground view to the historic structure. It’s expected that the initial phase of the meadows will be full bloom by years two and three.
The project serves as a symbol of development progress at the Mill. For the past few years, the buildings have been meticulously restored and stabilized after years of neglect. But now the project transitions into a development phase, with the meadow and build out of event spaces within the buildings.
This isn’t the Mill’s first wildflower endeavor. In 2018, Mill leaders partnered with Vicksburg High School and local agencies to plant buckwheat and sunflowers on the property’s west end as a way to attract bees for pollination. Each endeavor is part of the Mill’s strategic ongoing efforts to create natural, repurposed, park-like environment.
This initial phase represents one of the many steps in the environmental remediation of a once-contaminated industrial zone, and the adaptive reuse of a 400,000 square foot factory into a thriving destination for entertainment and recreation.