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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Walking/Biking Trails Benefit Everyone

Trails and walking paths along the Great Lakes are a proven formula for community improvement and economic success, as the article below by John Gallagher shows. 

Rogers City has a great walking/biking trail: The Huron Sunrise Trail.  With nine miles along some of the most beautiful shoreline in the Great Lakes, connecting the Port of Calcite, Rogers City, the Herman Vogler conservation Area, Hoeft State Park, and 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.  Rogers City is working to improve and extend this trail for increased access.  With cooperation from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Huron Sunrise Trail will be linked to the Central State Trail system. This article about the Detroit River Walk was published by the Detroit Free Press:

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with a new economic impact study showing millions of dollars in benefits for the city from the operation of the RiverWalk.
Among the findings of the study: Annual spending by visitors, residents, employees and other operations along the riverfront is estimated at $43.7 million, while tax revenue generated by ongoing riverfront activity is estimated at $4.5 million annually.
The study found that 77% of respondents indicated that they came to the riverfront from home rather than being downtown or in the vicinity, anyway — indicating that the riverfront is indeed a destination. And about 55% of those who came to the riverfront from home traveled more than 10 miles to do so.
Meanwhile, more than seven in 10 visitors questioned for the study said they visited the riverfront on a monthly or more frequent basis. Of those frequent visitors, about 40% do not live or work downtown but came to the riverfront as a destination.
The conservancy was launched 10 years ago by the City of Detroit, the Kresge Foundation, and General Motors. Over the past decade, the conservancy has developed more than three miles of the RiverWalk and plans to eventually complete more than 5.5 miles of RiverWalk from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle.
“The formation of the conservancy was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally bring together both the public and private sectors to reconnect Detroit and this region to its riverfront,” said Matt Cullen, chairman of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy board. “Ten years later, we have brought the banks of this river back to life and made it a central point of pride for this community and provided a platform for economic development.”
In recognition of the conservancy’s success, the Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leaders program this week awarded the conservancy its annual award in the nonprofit category.
Contact John Gallagher: 313-222-5173 or gallagher@freepress.com.

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