TRENTON – Construction of two greenways in the Downriver region of southeast Michigan is expected to begin this fall. Both projects are being championed as part of a regional initiative to link communities, residents, and visitors through greenways trails called the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative.
The initiative represents 21 communities striving to create a non-motorized trail system throughout the southern portion of southeast Michigan. To date, more than $12 million has been invested in more than 50 miles of continuous pathways, linking four major metropolitan metro parks.
In the first project, $900,000 has been secured from two sources: Wayne County, through its park millage, and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The funds will be used for a greenway trail and shoreline habitat improvements at Wayne County’s Elizabeth Park, Michigan’s oldest county park.
The park improvements will include the construction of a 4,000-feet, 10-foot wide greenway trail within Elizabeth Park and canal shoreline habitat restoration. Work will include the use of soft shoreline engineering techniques to: stabilize the shores of the canal, enhance habitat for fish and wildlife, minimize flooding, and erosion through a number of initiatives, remove invasive plant species, construct five fishing platforms, and improve access for canoeing and kayaking. In addition, the project will provide a link, via Riverside Street, to Trenton’s central business district, its three riverfront parks and other points north.
The second project will connect Elizabeth Park and the Grosse Ile Parkway Bridge to the Refuge Gateway of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge via a 5,000-foot-long, 10-foot-wide greenway trail along Jefferson Avenue. The Refuge Gateway, located where the Refuge Visitor Center is under construction, will be built in the Wayne County right-of-way and is adjacent to Humbug Marsh – Michigan’s only “Wetland of International Importance.”
Both projects will expand DLGI’s north/south connector and connect communities with unique destinations like Elizabeth Park and the Refuge Gateway.