12 Funded Projects and Major Trail Campaign Announced
The West Michigan Trails/Greenway Coalition (WMT/GC) members and six West Michigan community foundations are set to gather on Friday, September 23 at 2 p.m. at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids for two announcements and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The public is welcome. WOOD TV 8's news personality Gerry Barnaby will emcee the event.
Six West Michigan community foundations located in Fremont, Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Greenville, Holland/Zeeland and Muskegon made an $180,500 grant to the WMT/GC and the gift supports 12 trail projects throughout the region with at least one project in each community. "This grant is not only symbolic, but real, showing the connection between West Michigan communities. It shows respect for the environment and respect for one another's communities," said Diana Sieger, President of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
Additionally, the WMT/GC will announce that it is launching a major capital campaign to complete 140 miles of trails. "Our goal is $25 million, we have $9 million from the federal transportation bill, we're hoping for $11 million from the state, and we plan to raise $5 million in local funds. The community foundations lead gift of $180,000 certainly heads us in the right direction," said Peter DeBoer, Executive Director of the WMT/GC.
The community foundations funded trail projects include:
The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail from extending from Greenville to Alma.
Comstock Park - White Pine Trail for the loop southwest of the5/3 ballpark.
Fremont's Town and Country Path connecting two existing paths.
Grand Haven- Lakeshore Trail to develop a route through the Grand Haven urban area trail to the Spring Lake trailway system.
Grand Rapids Parks planning for the Canal Avenue Park extension to Ann Street and planning for the RiverWalk Trail. This will connect Riverside Park with White Pine Trails.
Holland-Jamestown-Zeeland- Kent for the planning of connections to complete a new trailway to link the Holland area with the Kent Trails system at Byron Center
Howard City -White Pine Trail to fund paving of the White Pine Trail within Howard City, adjacent to the new library
Muskegon- Musketawa Connection creating 1,000 new feet paved trail bringing within one mile the entire Musketawa Trail to the Muskegon trail that extends through the City of Muskegon to the shore of Lake Michigan.
Paul Henry - Thornapple Trail will have an additional 2 miles of pavement east out of the city of Irving
Walker- Millennium Park connection. This is the hub of the network of West Michigan Trailways. This will create a path that will separate users from a high traffic area.
Musketawa Trail in Ottawa County. To work on plans to connect the trail with the Walker Highland Trail, which would connect toward Millennium Park, the White Pine Trail and the Riverwalk in downtown Grand Rapids.
Wyoming Trail extension to support the planning and design of a trail through Gezon Park. It would eventually connect to the future M 6 Trail that would run between Caledonia, Georgetown Township; connecting Byron Center, Wyoming and Grandville.
The grant also provides for a resource fund for planning and facilitation and a trail maintenance fund.
People interested in contributing to the effort may contact their local community foundation or DeBoer at 616.363.6884.