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Posted on Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 5:56 a.m.

Snyder signs legislation awarding Ypsilanti $300K grant for Border to Border trail

By Katrease Stafford


A pedestrian bridge will be constructed, similar to the one pictured here at Riverside Park, as part of the Border to Border trail project.

Angela J. Cesere | file photo

The city of Ypsilanti has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant program to go toward the Border to Border Trail project that will run through the city's Water Street property.

Ypsilanti is the only community in Washtenaw County to receive a grant for the 2012 round.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on March 27, approving $23,348,700 in trust fund grant appropriations, funding 76 recreation development projects and land acquisitions in 43 Michigan counties.

Ypsilanti's funding will be used to construct a multi-use trail, plaza, fishing pier, Huron River overlook, signage and site amenities. The city believes the enhancements will attract bikers, walkers, strollers and joggers to the area.

The entire project is estimated to cost about $592,000. The city already received a $289,400 trust grant that also will go toward the Border to Border Trail project.

The pedestrian bridge will cross from Riverside Park to a corner of the Fischer Honda dealership parcel on the east side of the Huron River. The city recently approved a $31,500 purchase of access easement with the dealership, allowing them access to a piece of property.

The city, who is working with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation on this project, met on Tuesday, March 12 to approve funding to cover the cost of the easement.

City Planner Teresa Gillotti previously told it was looking at a 2013 construction date. Linking Frog Island Park, Riverside Park, Water Street and Water Works Park continues to be a priority for the city, Gillotti said.

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, applauded the city receiving the grant.

“Washtenaw County has long been a leader in preserving our beautiful parks and green spaces, and I am honored to represent constituents who understand the important role these special places play in our quality of life,” Warren said in a statement. “I commend the Natural Resources Trust Fund for supporting this critical project, which will make a number of recreational activities more accessible to our residents, while improving the local economy and encouraging tourism in the area.”

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 10:26 p.m.

I have lived in Ypsi since 73 and I don;t care what anyone says, Ypsi is pretty awesome. This IS my town. Thank you Snyder.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 8:40 p.m.

Congratulations, Ypsilanti! Ypsilanti is truly an undiscovered jewel with some very exciting and creative things happening now and on the horizon. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who have worked so hard for so long to bring the vision together.

Cheryl Weber

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

This is the same fund that is contributing to the reconstruction of the Rutherford Pool. Many people worked and are continuing to invest their time, energy, and resources to bring out the best in our community. Nice job! What a fine year this will be. ; - D


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

"It's too bad, because climbing up a set of stairs into the parking lot of a car dealership and then having to wait for a traffic light on a busy road..." And this coming from a guy who in the past has quite harshly rreplied to other commenters about the lack of parking in Depot Town and having to walk. Too funny!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

Terrific news for Ypsilanti!

Bob Krzewinski

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

One other good thing about the Trust Fund grants becoming "official" by late March is the issue of construction jobs. Last year, the Legislature sat on releasing Trust Fund grants until the summer which was too late for most agencies to put a project out for bid and have construction start. This year, having the funds available so early in the year means that construction bids can go out and actual construction completed in the same year. So again, that means more jobs for Michigan, this year. Bob Krzewinski Friends Of The Border To Border Trail

Katrease Stafford

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.

Here's a bit more info on the trust fund grants: Since 1976, Washtenaw County has received $23,685,314 in Trust Fund grants. Since 1976, more than $965 million has been awarded in trust fund grants for land acquisition and development of public recreation facilities in all 83 Michigan counties, including $164 million for trail related projects. The fund began in 1976.

Bob Krzewinski

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

It should be understood that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, where the Ypsilanti project is receiving the majority of its funding, was approved by Michigan taxpayers as a ballot issue way back in 1984. The Fund receives its funding from oil, gas and mineral leases on State land with proceeds used to both acquire and develop public recreation lands. Matching funds for this project came from the a Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission fund approved by County taxpayers in 1998 and again in 2008. So while to a minority, non-motorized projects seem to be a "waste", it seems like the majority of voters like having close-to-home outdoor facilities to walk, run or bicycle on.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:43 p.m.

REALLY, TOURISM? you must be kidding,right? no one goes to ypsi. unless they have to go to court or haabs resturant !! unbelieveable waste of money ! i guess maybe one good thing might come of this,the homeless will have a better place to live!!!!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

I concur with Katrease. Just last night while enjoying the Dairy Queen on Michigan Ave, I was surprised at how many people were walking down the street in either direction. It was rather refreshing and I look forward to the day that there is more development down in that area.

no flamers!

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Having been to 49 states and 54 countries I hereby declare (humbly of course) some knowledge of tourism. And from that travel & tourism background, I can tell you that when my family and friends go out to eat for for beers, we usually start and end the discussion with places in Ypsi (I'm not from Ypsi and have never lived in Ypsi). Perhaps you mistakenly define tourism to only include overnight stays by out-state people. But that isn't the correct view.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

Typical... you must live on the Ann Arbor "Old West Side".

Katrease Stafford

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Murphthesurf, I might have to disagree with you on this one. I've been covering Ypsi for almost a year now and even in this time frame, I've seen a noticeable change. A lot of new and successful businesses have opened, which to me shows someone has an interest to invest in the community. We're also seeing more homes being purchased, which I think is also a great sign of long term investments being made. This is in addition to the many events throughout the year that take place--including the Color Run that will bring more than 14,000 people through the area. A lot of those individuals will be coming from across the state or Ohio for the event, so yes, that's tourism in my book. On the other hand, there's no denying there's still a lot of progress to be made and issues to be handled, but I think the positive is worth noting as well.

Crusader 53

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

Don't live in Ypsi. Livingston County is home , so I guess that qualifies me as a "tourist" . Ypsi is one of our favorite destination spots to visit when we are going that way. While not part of the city , Rolling Hills County Park is a favorite of mine for the single track mountain bike trail. Which the Pottawatomie Mountain Biking Association built and maintains. Ypsi is a great place for an after ride or trail work day for burgers and a beer at one of it's great local restaurants. By the way there is a trail work day at RHP this Sat. starting at 9am. Doesn't matter if you never done trail work. We will show you how it is done. Info at MMBA.Org.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Maybe that is your experience, coming to Ypsi for court but in case you have been around in awhile, Downtown, Depot Town and Cross Street are all doing pretty good business. Ypsi is now blessed with many good restaurants, some wonderful shopping and many good service businesses. Add to this the parks and festivals and a growing artists community ... you are missing a lot. Having this Border to Border trail now running through Ypsi will only enhance the experiences many are already enjoying. Stop down sometime and take a fresh look!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

People locally make heavy use of the trail now in place and will continue to walk/bike into Ypsi or from Ypsi to Ann Arbor and the parks once it's completed. While doing so, they often like to get a bite to eat or perhaps a beer at the end of their ride or perhaps the midpoint. That's the type of tourism they're talking about - and recreational trails like these nationwide have been proven to give a strong boost to businesses along them. Get a clue.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

This is indeed good news for Ypsilanti. But can someone remind me: Why did they not approve running the pedestrian bridge underneath michigan ave? Was it because the Mich Ave road/car bridge is in such poor shape that it would be dangerous to put pedestrians beneath it? It's too bad, because climbing up a set of stairs into the parking lot of a car dealership and then having to wait for a traffic light on a busy road is not an especially aesthetic solution for an important segment of the border to border trail. Or will they have a ramp? Seems it would need to be a bike-friendly solution.

Katrease Stafford

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Thanks Bob and ahi, When Ypsilanti received the first trust fund grant for $289,400, a hydraulic review was submitted to the Michigan Department of Transportation, that determined the bridge would cause a serious scour problem. That design was deemed not feasible and an alternate location for the bridge was been proposed, which I believe, would construct it perpendicular and to the north of the bridge on Michigan Avenue.

Bob Krzewinski

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

The Border To Border Trail under the Michigan Avenue bridge had problems in that both the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Department of Transportation had problems with putting non-motorized bridge supports in at a place where there is high current flow and a a bend in the river. On the bridge that will be built, there will be no steps. Everything will be done by ramps with a grade gentle enough that a person on a wheelchair can make the climb. Bob Krzewinski Friends Of The Border To Border Trail


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

At highwater the Mich Ave bridge is essentially in the river. The engineers were concerned that adding an additional obstruction to the river there would cause damage to the bridge.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 11:05 a.m.

Great news!

Tom Todd

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Snyder went to the same school as Obama take from one group and give it to another.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

And Michigan's credit rating has been upgraded, which will reduce Michigan's interest payments. Good job Rick!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

Our state is now in the BLACK instead of the RED like where the DEMOCRATS put us!!!!!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

This is funded by the Natural Resources Trust Fund - which gets its monies from royalties and leases paid to the state for things like oil, mining and timber leases on state land. So it's paid for by leasing public resources and the money goes to public projects. No take from one group and give to another, unless you think those poor mining, timber and oil companies should get our natural resources for free.


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

But at least it's something tax payers can use and enjoy as opposed to 100's of millions wasted on solar panels and battery companies that go belly up or sold to the Chinese at a loss