From the University of Michigan Dearborn’s Web site (link at bottom of story):
CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
Dearborn "greenways" link to be dedicated on Oct. 29
DEARBORN---A major link in the proposed chain of regional "greenways" paths will be dedicated in a ceremony at noon on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
Hundreds of people have already begun using portions of the path for exercise and recreation while contractors put finishing touches on the 1.5 miles of trail and two pedestrian bridges over the Rouge River that allow bikers and walkers to go from Hines Drive to the shopping and entertainment district of west Dearborn. The path runs through the campuses of Henry Ford Community College and UM-Dearborn, and includes parts of Wayne County and City of Dearborn parklands.
The "Rouge River Gateway Greenway Trail" is part of the vision of the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan "to help connect the communities of southeastern Michigan through the creation of a connected green infrastructure, including biking and hiking paths, conservation corridors and habitats among and between communities," according to Mariam Noland, executive director of the Community Foundation.
The Dearborn link was one of more than a dozen similar projects in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties spurred by the Community Foundation, with contributions from more than a dozen corporations and foundations in the region.
support for the Dearborn path has come from the Michigan Department of Transportation,
Wayne County, the City of Dearborn, UM-Dearborn and HFCC.
"The partnership's long-term goal is to reclaim the Rouge River as an invaluable environmental, educational, cultural and recreational resource, and this trail is an important building block in that effort," according to UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little.
"This project provides something that has been so often missing in the Detroit metropolitan area: accessible physical links between otherwise isolated islands of activity," Little said. "It is a very durable and practical symbol of our connections and commitment to the metropolitan area, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of new visitors to our campus."
The asphalt path runs along the Rouge River north from Michigan Avenue and will bring visitors near the Henry Ford Estate, a national historic landmark, and the Environmental Interpretive Center at UM-Dearborn, before continuing onto the campus of HFCC. At the north end of the community college, the trail will connect to Hines Drive, which provides excellent pedestrian and bicycle access to communities upstream along the Rouge River.
"With the help of many organizations, the Rouge corridor will show the nation how an important natural resource can be transformed to benefit all," HFCC President Andrew A. Mazzara said. "It is significant that the Dearborn greenway trail was constructed with minimal impact on the ecological environment in order to preserve the natural habitat. The expertise of noted environmental planners was considered every step of the way."
Before the ceremony, members of the public are welcome to attend "Rouge 2005," the 15th annual report on the status of the river and its watershed, which will be held in the Social Sciences Building at UM-Dearborn. For more information on Rouge 2005, contact the Office of Government Relations at UM-Dearborn at (313) 593-5140.
Another related event, the "Dash for Health" will feature activities for joggers, bikers and walkers along the trail. The "Dash for Health" is a benefit for ZIAD, a community group dedicated to providing health care for the underserved. For more information on ZIAD or the "Dash for Health," call (734) 347-1462.
Melissa Jean Prowse
Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan
333 W. Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226-3134
Ph: (313) 961-6675
Toll free: 1-888-WE-ENDOW (888-933-6369)
Fax: (313) 961-2886
The Communtiy Foundation for Southeastern Michigan - connecting those who care with causes that matter since 1984.
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