Detroit, MI - /PRNewswire/ -- Friends of the Detroit River, in partnership with Downriver Linked Greenways, has received a $4.1 million federal grant to eliminate gaps in the trail and make intersection improvements for the Downriver Linked Greenways Trail System.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell secured the funding for this project in the federal government spending package enacted at the end of last year. This federal funding provides the match on $2.1 million that was already secured through a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in 2022.
"The Downriver Linked Greenways connect cities, towns, and people and bring communities together. Since its inception originating at a summit on how to strengthen Downriver, we now have more than 100 miles of land and water trails. These trails connect people with the outdoors, teach the next generation of young people about our natural resources, drive our economy by attracting visitors, and keep people active and healthy. Downriver is a strong, vibrant place that people from around the world want to visit, and we are united by the Greenways," says Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
The funding will strengthen connections of the Downriver Linked Greenways. The gaps, intersections, and bike lanes will link nine communities in the Downriver area, home to over 130,000 people, with Detroit. Once this project is complete, this strengthened trail system will give a diverse population of resident's access to various green spaces, such as parks and wildlife habitats.
"This grant will allow us to improve trail connections along a 25-mile stretch through 10 communities," says Mary Bohling, Director of Downriver Linked Greenways. "This trail system will help communities connect and learn more about their surrounding environment, while supporting an active lifestyle."
"This is a $6.2 million project that is much more than just a trail project. This connected trail system will improve access, provide transportation alternatives, improve recreation opportunities and create economic development opportunities that together will have a profound impact on quality of life in these Downriver Communities," says JJ Tighe, Director of Parks & Trails at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
The combined trail systems will provide an outlet for cyclists, walkers, runners, and kayakers to engage in physical activity unabated by constant automobile traffic interactions and serve as safe routes to community connection points like local parks, schools, public gathering spaces, and riverfront activities. Downriver Linked Greenways has been working with Downriver communities for more than two decades to make this region a great place to live, work and play.
About Downriver Linked Greenways
Downriver Linked Greenways is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help facilitate trail planning, development, marketing and programming of both land and water trails. Since 1998, the organization has helped to facilitate over 100 miles of trails in the Downriver Region of Metropolitan Detroit. The current trail network includes both water and land trails that reach within a half-mile of every home and connects millions of residents to each other across Downriver. Our trails traverse over many different areas that include rural, urban, and over 7,000 acres of parkland. The Huron Clinton MetroParks, Wayne County Parks, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, National Huron River Water Trail, and Rouge River Water Trail anchor our entire trail system. In addition, 25 miles of the statewide Iron Belle Trail travels through 10 of our communities. Visit www.downrivertrails.org to plan your next trip or get more info.
About Friends of the Detroit River
Friends of the Detroit River, a nonprofit, was formed in 1992 by a group of citizens dedicated to preserving and maintaining the habitat of the Detroit River. Founded on the belief that coastal wetland habitats in the Detroit River are the responsibility and privilege of all of the area's citizens, FDR works to rehabilitate and restore many of the area's shorelines. FDR has also managed the Detroit Riverkeeper program since 2002. FDR serves as the fiduciary for the Detroit River Public Advisory Council, a group established in 1991in conjunction with the Great Lakes Areas of Concern Program to facilitate public involvement in cleanup efforts due to legacy contaminants and environmental issues.