These four metro Detroit trails and greenways just received $600K in grants

What’s happening: Fans of metro Detroit’s network of trails and greenways have something to be glad about this week as the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced $600,000 in grants to maintain and improve existing pathways throughout the region.

How it’s happening: The grant money comes from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund, an endowed fund that provides permanent financial support for the maintenance of southeast Michigan’s network of trails and greenways. The endowed fund was created by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in 2018 in recognition of their namesake’s 100th birth anniversary. The Community Foundation administers the fund.

Why it’s important: “Trails connect our communities, parks, and waterfronts, all while providing safe alternative transportation options,” says J.J. Tighe, director of the Parks & Trails Initiative for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “As the Wilson Foundation continues to invest in new trail connections across southeast Michigan’s regional trail system, it was equally important to establish the Trails Maintenance Fund as a mechanism to ensure what is built can be maintained for future generations.”

What’s planned: Wayne County Parks received $125,000 to remove and replace 2,000 linear ft. of a shared-use asphalt path along the Hines Park Pathway. The Michigan Department of Transportation received $175,000 to improve safety and connectivity issues along the I-275 Metro Trail. South Lyon will have $199,100 to reconstruct a portion of the City of South Lyon Safety Path. And the Charter Township of East China gets $100,920 to remove and replace 2,023 linear ft. of an asphalt path along the Bridge to Bay Trail, and will upgrade the ramps at three bridges to become ADA-compliant.

What they’re saying: “Investing in southeast Michigan’s quality of life is crucial to building our reputation as a world-class place to live and work,” says Community Foundation President Ric DeVore. “That’s why we are proud to support our community partners who are working to ensure residents can enjoy well-maintained, accessible trails amid southeast Michigan’s natural beauty.”

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.