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Connecting Communities

Program Extended (2017-2020)

Northfield Trail

Non-motorized trail along Barker Road in Northfield Township

Throughout its history, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission has been a significant proponent of the development of non-motorized trails within the community. This position stems from both a commitment to the importance of non-motorized trails and an understanding of the interests and priorities expressed by community members.  Non-motorized trails represent an important opportunity for recreation and a sustainable transportation alternative.

Development of a County-wide non-motorized trail network is a larger task than any single community or organization can assume. This larger network requires a multi-agency/organization effort. For example, the B2B trail route passes through a number of communities and crosses land owned by many individuals and organizations. Many of the trail segments will be, or already have been, developed by the community within which they are located. Much more work, though, remains to be done.

The goal of the Connecting Communities initiative is to work in partnership with other communities and organizations, providing funds to supplement those provided or obtained by the partner organization.  In order to maximize its resources and assist communities with their own trail projects, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission initially made available up to $600,000 each year during the 2010 - 2014 period ($3 million in total) toward the cost of eligible projects.  By the end of 2014, 15 projects were awarded to 10 different communities.  These projects furthered the Commission's primary goal of providing valuable, non-motorized connections between communities and activity centers thus offering a healthy alternative for recreation, transportation, fitness and energy conservation.

In 2017, the Connecting Communities initiative was extended through 2020.

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