DNR recognizes Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative for trails leadership

The Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative was honored by the DNR at the October 2018 Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing, for the group’s extensive trail-development work in southeast Michigan.

Pictured here (L to R) are: Lew Kidder, an Ann Arbor lawyer and trails advocate; Susan Faulkner, executive director, Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative; DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson; Jeff Hardcastle, Huron Waterloo Pathways board chairman; and DNR Director Keith Creagh

Michigan Department of Natural Resources sent the
following bulletin at 10/12/2018 03:30 PM EDT

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources presented a 2018 Partners in Conservation Award to the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative and its board chairman, Jeff Hardcastle, for the group’s positive impact on nonmotorized trail development projects in southeast Michigan. The award was given out at Thursday’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.

“Our partners play a critical role in the department’s management of Michigan’s resources and outdoor recreation,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “The Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative has been the driving force for the development of many important trail projects in Washtenaw County, such as the Border-to-Border Trail and the Iron Belle Trail. The initiative is a strong role model for partnership, and we appreciate their work and dedication.”

Partners in Conservation Awards are DNR employee-nominated awards presented to individuals, groups, organizations, units of government and elected officials for exemplary volunteer service that illustrates a commitment to conserving and managing natural resources and assisting the DNR in carrying out its mission.

The Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the facilitation and development of nonmotorized recreational trails through awareness, fundraising and the coordination of individuals, civic groups, businesses and government entities. Olson said that the initiative has followed its vision for creating healthy, active and connected communities to effect positive change in communities in Washtenaw County and beyond. 

It has not only been a facilitator between state and local government agencies and advocacy groups, but also has raised $4 million that has been leveraged to nearly $9 million for trail projects in local communities. 

The initiative recently has built, or is planning to build, approximately 25 miles of trails in that region of the state. Part of the trail group is Lew Kidder, who is leading the Karen’s Trail initiative in memory of his wife, Karen McKeachie. Learn more about the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative at huron-waterloo-pathways.org.

Michigan has an extensive network of trails that are collaboratively developed and maintained by state and local governments, nonprofits, foundations and volunteers. The state’s trails provide access to diverse outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, off-road vehicle, mountain biking and many others. Trails also help drive the economy by attracting out-of-state visitors, creating jobs, attracting new residents, assisting in placemaking, increasing property values and connecting people with natural resources. 

Explore the state’s trail opportunities at michigan.gov/dnrtrails.

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