Grants: Land Use

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Lake Huron Forever – AuGres Community Pilot Program

Jan 2021

The Lake Huron Forever initiative was developed in 2019 by shoreline community foundations, the Council of Michigan Foundation, and conservation partners from the United States and Canada to advance water quality protection and healthy sustainable communities on both sides of the lake. The Lake Huron Forever initiative aims to support community conversation and collaboration in the design and implementation of on-the-ground work to strengthen the health and well-being of residents, as well as natural resources. Protecting water quality, ensuring the diversity of plant and animal life and supporting communities across the region means committing to the long-term protection of Lake Huron. In the coming years Huron Pines and our partners strive to engage communities and activate collaboration and partnerships to sustain a healthy Lake Huron through the Lake Huron Forever initiative. This project joins additional program funds and is focused on the “on-the-ground” development of multiple bio-swales for stormwater treatment, as well as the coordination and development of the “Lake Huron Forever” community program and communication tools.

Steih Park Renovation and Enhancements

Dec 2019

Proposed by Monitor Township, in cooperation with partners including the Kawkawlin River Watershed Association and others, the Steih Park Project seeks to renovate and improve an existing park in Monitor Township on the Kawkawlin River. The project will provide an improved kayak/canoe launch, increase erosion control, provide additional fishing access and more. To the extent possible, improvements will be completed using environmentally friendly techniques and sustainable design. The Kawkawlin River is a direct tributary of Saginaw Bay, and its watershed encompasses more than 400 square miles in 14 townships and 4 counties. Unfortunately, there is only a single, usable, public access site on the entire river which is Steih Park. To that end, Monitor Township has been reviewing the increased use at the site and has embarked upon an initiative to improve the park, which is located in the Village of Kawkawlin, with a focus on recreational use including fishing, kayak launching and access, erosion control and interpretive signage. WIN funding is specifically requested for kayak launch, fishing access, and interpretive signage.

Linwood Scenic Access Site Improvements

Jul 2019

Linwood Scenic Access Site Improvements are proposed by a coalition of agencies including Bay County, Fraser Township and the Linwood Civic Improvement board. A rare, public waterfront scenic access site exists at the shoreline of Saginaw Bay which is used by hundreds of ice fishers daily throughout the winter to access the winter ice. Heavy winter time use at the site results in parking being backed up Y, mile on each side of Linwood Road. In summer however, this rare scenic waterfront site sits empty except for the occasional, short slow drive through by bay viewers, they don't stop as the site lacks any amenities for public engagement. This project is innovative as it will convert a portion of the existing (expansive) paved parking lot into a "Green Space" to create a scenic public waterfront park providing for a rare Saginaw Bay viewing area, a restful, grassed gathering location with benches, picnic tables and spotting scopes. Beyond the green space extending into the Saginaw Bay, a 60' seasonal fishing dock will be installed to create a rare shore-based fishing access with an adjacent ADA kayak launch for direct water access into the bay. The proposal also includes a student intern component to better measure use and interview users about experience and economic impact.

City of Clare - Emerald Isle Recreation Complex

Jul 2019

Proposed by the City of Clare, the Emerald Isle Recreation Complex is currently being constructed on 26 acres of vacant, city owned property. This property was purchased by the city in 2012, to serve as a new park area. The multi-purpose complex will be complete with a universal design, incorporating ten varied size soccer fields, paved walking/hiking paths, exercise stations, a playground, concession building with bathrooms, two pavilions that will be used for family/group gatherings and for educational workshops, a paved parking lot, and a skate and bike park. The complex project will also incorporate conservation elements of a butterfly/pollen garden and a wetland area with interpretive signage. The focus of the WIN grant is the pollinator garden area and a portion of the nature playground. WIN funding is proposed as part of a local match against a pending application for state funding as well.

Beaverton Trailhead

Jul 2019

Proposed by the City of Beaverton, in cooperation with the City of Gladwin and the Gladwin County Recreational Authority. The communities have all prepared pedestrian and bicycle trail master plans that include connecting to the Gladwin to Beaverton trail. The proposed trail head will be the southern end of the trail where it will provide a 6' wide concrete sidewalk, an HMA (hot mix asphalt) paved parking lot, parking striping and barrier free signs, a boat ramp, floating dock, rail replacement for kayak launch, picnic tables, bench, waste receptacles, and an information kiosk. The Beaverton Trail Head project consists of two phases. Phase I will connect to the trail from Beaverton to Gladwin and will include the following:*A hard surface (hot mix asphalt) area for parking and gathering, portage for canoes, kayaks, and tubers to have access to the Tobacco River, leading to Wixom Lake. This project proposes to use environmentally friendly construction methods for the trail head by incorporating recycled asphalt into the paving mix, solar powered lights, an environmentally friendly storm water management design including curb and gutter to keep prohibited waters from the lake, and the use of recycled materials in the construction of furnishings. Key components:

  • Six foot wide concrete sidewalk.
  • Parking striping and barrier free signs.
  • A boat ramp, floating dock, rail replacement for kayak launch, picnic tables, bench, and waste receptacles.
  • An interpretive kiosk will be installed with information regarding the fish and wildlife in existence within the project area.

Gladwin Trails : Buckeye Trailhead

Jun 2018

As part of the Gladwin County Trail Recreation Authority (GCTRA), several communities have joined together to build a connecting trail system between the communities of Beaverton and Gladwin, with ultimate connection to the Pere Marquette Trail and the Iron Belle Trail.  Through the recent acquisition of land by the GCTRA from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)a trailhead is under planning for a site adjacent to the Cedar River, a longtime focus of Saginaw Bay WIN.  This river is a key coldwater trout stream and is beginning to be a focus of multiple recreational opportunities such as fishing and kayaking.  This trailhead, in addition to being a midway stop on the trail, will also provide access to the Cedar River.  

South End Bay-Zilwaukee Trailhead

Jun 2018

Identified in the 2004 WIN-funded “Vision of Green” this trailhead is the south terminal point of the existing Bay-Zil Trail.  It is worth noting that the Bay-Zil Trail is the only acquisition project that WIN has ever supported and was identified as the KEY link between the Bay County and Saginaw County systems.  This trail now includes 7 miles of asphalt trail, two bridges with fishing access and a trailhead on the north end in Bay City.  This south trailhead is a critical link between the Saginaw system and the south end of the trail, proposed adjacent to the Crow Island State Game Area. Additionally, this trail is an important piece of the Iron-Belle state trail system.  WIN funding assists in the development of the trailhead, along with the development of a seating/canopy/gazebo area, as well as a bicycle maintenance facility.    

Midland South Riverfront Restoration

Dec 2017

Proposed by the Michigan Baseball Foundation and its partner Momentum Midland, this project seeks support for improvements and restoration activities slated to occur at the former "4D Factory" brownfield site along the Tittabawassee River in Downtown Midland. An adjacent 25 acre site owned by The Dow Chemical company has recently been restored which included riverbank restoration and wetland remediation. Combined, these sites will include wetlands, prairie areas, river access, a fishing pier, as well as a wetland overlook and wetland boardwalk. The tow projects will connect 40 acres and will include nearly a mile of riverfront park. WIN funding is proposed to support, in part, the construction/creation of an 8' asphalt trail, boardwalk, river access and overlook.

Saginaw Bay Coastal Wildlands

Dec 2017

This projects begins the assembly and interpretation features of a consolidated nature preservation area and public access site(s) called the "Saginaw Bay Coastal Wildlands". This effort is a partnership between the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe that will consolidate and brand a collection of fragmented nature preserves owned and managed by the SBLC and SCIT. The project begins the development of a mostly contiguous, landscape-level coastal wildlife sanctuary and outdoor recreation destination surrounding the Saganing River delta that is found in northern Bay County / southern Arenac County along Saginaw Bay's coast. The overall project includes invasive species control, improved trailheads, wayfinding and interpretation, signage, outreach and long range joint management planning.

Cass River Corridor Pollinator Project

Dec 2017

Proposed by the City of Vassar, this project builds on the project recently funded by WIN and being administered by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy: Taking Root in Small Towns. That project is working with several communities across the region to help them better plan for development and conservation, as well as identify opportunities for green infrastructure, cost savings, and public access. This project, in particular, has identified unique parcels of property in Vassar (that were also identified through the community-wide "Vassar Vision" strategic planning exercise) that sit in the floodplain as a "high priority" for open space conservation and public access. Currently, these sites are subject to high maintenance activities by city staff (mowing & maintenance). This project proposes the conversion of these sites to pollinator gardens and interpretive sites, showing how lower-maintenance and native alternatives can be successful and economically feasible, while also providing wildlife habitat and reduce the management burden on local government.

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum Outdoors and Energy Efficiency

Jun 2017

This two-part project seeks to increase energy efficiency at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum as well as support a new exhibit focusing on sustainability and the environment. First the project to upgrade lighting from CFL to LED lighting across the facility and parking areas is expected to save up to $35,000 in electrical costs over 10 years. This is a matching 1:1 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. An energy efficiency unit will also be developed at the museum. The second part of the project includes the development of an exhibit focusing on the outdoors and sustainability by providing hands-on learning opportunities that will teach about invasive species, nature observation, habitat issues, and related issues. A local planning team consisting of county parks, local conservancy, and WIN representatives have been providing advice on the exhibit elements. WIN support would specifically pay for lighting upgrades, magnifying table, and identification kiosk.

Lake Station Trailhead

Dec 2016

This project, located in Clare County's Garfield Township, is part of planned improvements in the community of Lake Station to improve access to and use of their networked trail system. This non-motorized trail, is part of the Pere-Marquette system, but does not provide some of the amenities found along other communities adjacent to the trail. Garfield Township is submitting a funding application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for $228,000 (it is worth noting that the entire yearly operating budget for the Township is $540,000)to complete improvements that will include amenities such as a pavilion, picnic tables, benches, restroom, bike racks and paved parking. The WIN request would support some of the specific amenities including bike racks, informational kiosk, and others. It is worth noting that based upon discussion at the task group; project organizers were put in touch with the Fish and Wildlife Service who will be helping them complete a pollinator site on the property.