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Michigan Trails worked aggressively with key members of the Michigan Legislature to secure this appropriation and would specifically like to thank Senator Judy Emmons for her role in advancing this critical funding for the White Pine Trail. "The White Pine Trail is a lifeblood for all the communities that border it," explained Senator Emmons. "This funding we were able to secure will go a long way towards finishing pavement and allow even more use."
The 92-mile Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park runs from Grand Rapids to Cadillac and is one of Michigan's earliest rail trails. Work on the trail began in the late 1980's with paving to follow in the early 1990's, but 29 miles between Big Rapids and Sand Lake still remain unpaved.
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"After 30 years, it's time to begin to take the last steps to finish this trail and reap the benefits," said Bob Wilson, Executive Director of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. "When pavement is completed, not only will this trail improve quality of life and attract tourism to Michigan, it will be an economic boon to the 15 communities along the trail."
The project was strongly supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Friends of the White Pine Trail, West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. David Heyboer, Chairman of the Friends of the White Pine Trail, echoed words of support for the appropriation by focusing on the impact that the trail project will likely have on adjacent communities.
"This is a great day for the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail and its users, said Heyboer. " The communities will see a big boost to their economies and our vision for this trail is finally coming to fruition."
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"It has taken a long time to get here, but the steps we can take with this funding in helping to pave the final sections of the White Pine Trail will soon complete an important connection in Michigan's non-motorized multi-use trail network," said John Morrison, Executive Director of the West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition. "It's good for the residents and communities along the trail. It's good for trail tourism in Michigan, and I look for the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park to be a Pure Michigan Trail in the near future."
The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is the statewide voice for non-motorized trail users, helping to build destination trails and advocate for trails policy and funding in Lansing. For more information, visit us at www.michigantrails.org or find us on Facebook.
Bob Wilson, Executive Director
Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance
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