Progress is being made to fully connect communities throughout Washtenaw County with an expanded Border to Border Trail. Learn about the latest developments in this conversation between WEMU’s David Fair and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Director, Coy Vaughn, in this week’s edition of “Issues of the Environment.”
· Recently, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission (WCPARC) entered into a Public- Private Partnership with the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (HWPI) with the goal of expanding and accelerating completion of the Border-to-Border Trail (B2B).
· Founded in 2015, the grass-roots HWPI worked to add the “Huron Waterloo Loop:” the Loop is a 44-mile route that traverses from Dexter to Chelsea and on to Stockbridge where it joins with the existing Lakelands Trail, which has a planned connection to the B2B east of Pinckney. The Loop has officially been incorporated into the B2B network, bringing the total distance to 70 miles (originally 35) with approximately 40 miles of trail existing today.
· In January of 2015, the B2B was incorporated into the State of Michigan's Iron Belle Trail - a network of trails that is over 2,000 miles long and connects Belle Isle Park (Detroit) to Ironwood (western upper peninsula).
· In the summer of 2017, HWPI launched its initial fundraising drive: the “Karen’s Trail” campaign, named in honor of Karen McKeachie, a world-class triathlete who was killed in August 2016 while bicycling on Dexter-Chelsea Road. The Karen’s Trail campaign is expected to increase community awareness about the importance of completing the B2B and seeks to raise $1 million in small donations to match the $1 million that was donated to the B2B by the McKeachie family.
· Two construction projects are planned for 2018: 4.7 miles along M-52 north of Chelsea from Werkner Road to North Territorial Road and a 1.2 mile segment from Dexter-Huron Metropark east to Zeeb Road along the Huron River.
· The corridor between Dexter and Ann Arbor represents the largest remaining gap in the B2B (7.17 miles) and will involve a great deal of coordination with many agencies, municipalities, and organizations. A Master Plan was recently completed.
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