Happy Valentine’s Day from HWPI

We wish you and your special someone Valentine’s Day greetings, and we hope you will have a chance to take advantage of this beautiful February day to share some time together, perhaps on one of the existing Border-to-Border trails!

The Karen’s Trail Campaign is HWPI’s 2017 fundraising effort, to honor the legacy of Karen McKeachie by supporting the county-wide Border-to-Border Trail System development efforts. Today would also be a wonderful day to share your love with a donation!

Donations to The Karen’s Trail Campaign can be made through imATHLETE.

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Masco Cabinetry – Our Newest Heritage Sponsor

The HWPI Board is very pleased to announce a nationwide business headquartered in Ann Arbor as a Heritage level sponsor. Masco Cabinetry has donated $25,000 in support of the HWPI vision to develop new multi-use pathways connecting our local communities. Please join HWPI in extending a sincere thank-you to Masco Cabinetry for their most generous support.

Masco Cabinetry manufactures three nationally recognized cabinetry brands, KraftMaid®, Merillat® and QualityCabinets®. Our company has manufacturing plants and branches/service centers located throughout the United States. Offering an unmatched selection of stylish, high-quality products at a variety of price levels, Masco Cabinetry brands are favored by builders, dealers, distributors and home centers throughout North America. A leader in environmental stewardship, Masco Cabinetry products have been granted an Environmental Stewardship Program certificate by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association. The company is a division of Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS), of Taylor, Mich., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of brand name consumer products for the home and family.

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The Karen’s Trail Fund Campaign

Karen McKeachie: World-class triathlete, athletic pioneer, community leader, and force of nature.

On August 29, 2016, Karen McKeachie, a 63-year-old triathlete from Ann Arbor, was killed on Dexter-Chelsea Road doing one of the things she loved: riding her bike. The volunteers of the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative, along with the entire community, were shocked and deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident, just a few miles from our homes.

We learned much about the amazing and inspiring life that Karen led when, a few weeks after the accident, Lew Kidder, Karen’s husband of 37 years, reached out to the HWPI chairperson, Jeff Hardcastle. Lew had heard of our group’s efforts to develop new, non-motorized pathways throughout Washtenaw County, and he graciously invited us to be a part of honoring Karen’s life and legacy.

Surrounded by family and friends, Lew is announcing The Karen’s Trail Fund campaign on imATHLETE, a year-long effort to raise funds that will match generous gifts from Lew and from Karen’s family. These gifts and the funds raised will support the development of new pathways in Washtenaw county’s Border-to-Border trail system in ways that will honor Karen’s life and legacy by expanding safe, recreational opportunities for everyone in the region.

You can learn more about Karen McKeachie at the Karen’s Trail website. We’ll also be posting regular updates on Lew’s campaign here.

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Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative Year End Appeal

Progress Toward Phase 1 Construction in 2017

It has been an exciting year for everyone involved in the HWPI and B2B trail development effort. We have made substantial progress toward getting Phase 1 (4.7 miles from Werkner Road to North Territorial) of “The Loop” trail system built. We’ve secured the necessary funding commitments from the state, raised two-thirds of the private match funding required, and have the majority of the engineering completed. We are working feverishly to get this segment of the trail built in 2017. While the timeline for the remaining tasks (complete engineering, numerous permits, and bid process) is tight for 2017, we believe we have a fighting chance to get it done next year!

Chelsea-Dexter Connection Update

We have also begun work on design and engineering of the Chelsea-Dexter Connection along the Boland right-of-way that generally follows the Dexter-Chelsea Road corridor. All along, we’ve been hoping to begun construction there in 2018 or 2019. However, there have been some significant developments over the past six months that might create an opportunity for construction on parts of that segment in 2017 as well. We’ll know more over the next sixty days, so stay tuned!

Private Funding Requirements

As we get closer to groundbreaking opportunities, the need to fulfill our private funding requirements intensifies. We’re still approximately $300,000 short of the required private funding for Phase 1, and we will need additional private funding to begin work on the Chelsea-Dexter Connection.

HWPI Year End Appeal

If you support the work being done by HWPI and are looking for additional deductions before year-end, we promise to put your charitable dollars to work quickly, on trails that Michiganders and visitors to our great state will enjoy using for generations to come! All contributions to HWPI are fully tax-deductible for both federal and state income taxes.

Thanks for all the help in 2016. May you and your family have a joyous holiday season!

Ways to Contribute

You can make an online donation to HWPI on the Support HWPI page of our website, or you can download a Supporter Pledge Form and mail it, along with your check, to our fiduciary partner, Legacy Land Conservancy, at the address below:

Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative
c/o Legacy Land Conservancy
1100 N. Main St. #203
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

All donations received before January 1, 2017 will be fully tax-deductible on your 2016 tax returns. You will receive a paper receipt in the mail for your tax records.

Winter Hiking Trail

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Island Hills Sidewalk Dedication

20161028_island_hills_sidewalk_ceremony_025A list of ribbon-cutting members present: Brian, Melanie, Brock, and Colin McIntyre, Barb and Keith Watkins, Ken and Judi Tappe, Kathy Wilker (came later, not pictured), Nikki, Eric, and Delaney Dabkowski (Nikki & Delaney not pictured), Cherise Callahan (came later, not pictured), Meagan and Eric Connell

About the 500′ Island Hills Sidewalk Project

by Eric Connell

In 2014, amid growing frustration regarding pedestrian safety and documented “close calls” with speeding traffic along Island Lake Road, several homeowners brought up a sidewalk proposal to the Island Hills Homeowners Association. A unanimous vote of support left the idea in the hands of a volunteer homeowner — with the goal of building a sidewalk along Island Lake Road; connecting the Island Hills neighborhood to existing sidewalk infrastructure in the City of Dexter.

The project was initiated through discussions with the Road Commission and by collecting bids from recommended contractors. The limited budget of the neighborhood association was insufficient to cover the total project cost, so outside help was essential to achieving the improvement to walkability and safety.

The neighborhood’s close proximity to the Border to Border (B2B) trail was a catalyst for starting discussion with the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (HWPI) group, as the sidewalk gives homeowners a safe, well-marked, walkable route from the subdivision entrance to the B2B Trail. This sidewalk ‘spur’ extends the B2B to the west, and is heavily used by homeowners in the neighborhood and by residents of nearby neighborhoods enjoying the pathway. Without the financial support of the HWPI and the 5HealthyTowns Foundation, this project likely would not have happened. It’s a true success story of perseverance and the desire of residents to have increased non-motorized recreation options!

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Road & Path Millage Information

On November 8th, Washtenaw County voters will have the opportunity to vote on a four-year road and non-motorized path millage. HWPI is providing information about this ballot initiative so voters may make an informed decision.

  • The proposed 0.5 mill tax would essentially extend the similar 2016 road millage. Property owners would not see a tax increase due to this initiative.
  • Eighty percent of the revenue generated would fund road work in Washtenaw County. Twenty percent of the revenue would support the county’s growing non-motorized pathways network.

Additional information on this initiative can be found on the Washtenaw County Road Commission website at http://www.wcroads.org/millage.

bad_pothole

Photo Credit: CCBY2.0 DDohler on Flickr

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Sponsors Help HWPI Achieve Saint Joseph $125k Match

On October 12, 2016, HWPI hosted a reception at the Chelsea Wellness Center to thank our sponsors for their generosity. HWPI Chair, Jeff Hardcastle announced that we had achieved the criteria for receiving a $125,000 match contribution from the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. This match contribution is in addition to the direct contribution of the same amount that HWPI received  from St. Joe’s in 2015.

Jeff opened the reception by saying, “This summer, HWPI completed the match that the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System set up for us last fall. The match was a part of St. Joe’s overall gift of a quarter of a million dollars. Half of that gift was a direct contribution. The other hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars was a matching contribution, based on HWPI receiving an equivalent amount from other sponsors within a one-year period. Due to the generosity of the people in this room, and others, we have jump-started a trail development project to a level that other groups have taken many years to achieve.

L to R: Jeff Hardcastle – HWPI, Nancy Graebner and Rob Casalou, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System

Jeff concluded his remarks by saying, “There’s a good chance, based on the progress we’ve made so far and continuing success with private fundraising, that we will see nine miles of new trail on the ground by 2018. We hope to have construction started on two sides of Chelsea, one headed north and one headed east [toward Dexter], by this time next year. I want to thank Rob [Casalou] and Nancy [Graebner] from St. Joe’s for their early commitment, which really added momentum to our efforts.”

Rob Casalou responded, graciously acknowledging Jeff’s leadership in HWPI’s efforts. “Jeff, we want to thank you, too. Without your leadership of this initiative, we would not be standing here today. I remember when Amy [Heydlauff] had Jeff come to the Chelsea Wellness / 5 Healthy Towns board. I was sold. You sold it to me, right then and there. I don’t want us to leave without thanking you. You’re passionate about it, and you’re effective at pulling us all together, and I wanted to acknowledge that.”

To which, Jeff humbly replied, “Thank you, Rob. But I’m just the front man. We’ve got a bunch of great people working on and supporting this effort!!!”

Representatives from many of HWPI’s current sponsors gave Jeff, Rob, and Nancy an enthusiastic round of applause, and then gathered for a group photo.

Back row, L to R: Dennis Bauer – Chelsea Lumber, Sue Bauer – Chelsea Lumber, Peter Feeney – The Feeney Family, Terri McCalla – Chelsea Lumber, James Alford, MD – IHA, Amy Middleton – IHA, David Hughes – Vanston/O’Brien, Inc., Rob Casalou – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Dick McCalla – Chelsea Lumber, Howdy Holmes – Chelsea Milling Company, Tom Bloom – Bloom Roofing, Nancy Graebner – Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Mike Lee – Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Mark Heydlauff – Heydlauff’s Appliances, John Gardner, MD – IHA, Jeff Hardcastle – HWPI / Hardwood Solutions
Front row, L to R: Amy Heydlauff – 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, Susan Brown – Chelsea Rotary, Laura Hughes – Vanston/O’Brien, Inc., Beth Trollman – Bloom Roofing, Anne Nauts – Chelsea Rotary, John Mann – Chelsea State Bank

Representatives from HWPI sponsors, The Common Grill, Bank of Ann Arbor, Green Tree Pediatrics, and Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home were unable to attend this reception.

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Vanston/O’Brien, Inc. – Our Newest Pathway Sponsor

The HWPI Board is very pleased to announce a leading Dexter area business as a Pathway level sponsor. Vanston/O’Brien, Inc. has committed $7,500 in support of the HWPI vision to develop new multi-use pathways connecting our local communities. Please join HWPI in extending a sincere thank-you to this fine organization and to their employees.

Visit the Vanston/O’Brien, Inc. website here.

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Heydlauff’s Appliances – Our Latest Pathway Sponsor

The HWPI Board is very pleased to announce another leading Chelsea business as a Pathway level sponsor. Heydlauff’s Appliances has committed $7,500 in support of the HWPI vision to develop new multi-use pathways connecting our local communities. Please join HWPI in extending a sincere thank-you to Mark and Amy Heydlauff and to their employees.

Visit Heydlauff’s Appliances website, or visit the store at 113 N. Main Street in Chelsea.

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The Common Grill – Our Newest Heritage Sponsor

The HWPI Board is very pleased to announce another leading Chelsea business as a Heritage level sponsor. The Common Grill has committed $25,000 in support of the HWPI vision to develop new multi-use pathways connecting our local communities. Please join HWPI in extending a sincere thank-you to Proprietor and Executive Chef, Craig Common, and to his wonderful staff.

From Craig Common: “The Common Grill has been part of this community for twenty-five years, and we have always been supportive of anything that would strengthen our community. We feel that supporting the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative makes sense in pursuing excellence in our surrounding area. We are proud to be a Heritage Sponsor. Thank you.”

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