HWPI Volunteer Spotlight

HWPI Partner Spotlight: Peter Sanderson
November, 2020

Peter and Megan Sanderson

HWPI is excited to spotlight B2B Trail Partner: Peter Sanderson – Principal Park Planner with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission (WCPARC) and the project lead for much of the planning, design, and day-to-day B2B operations for the organization. A Licensed Landscape Architect with degrees from MSU and UM, Peter has worked for WCPARC since 2011.

Since the late 1990s, when the idea of the trail was conceived, WCPARC has been the lead public agency on the B2B project, working to form partnerships with other municipalities and organizations to plan, design, and construct the trail. Peter explains, “Partnerships are vital to the success of the trail and we are excited to be working with HWPI, which has expanded the definition, the reach, and expediency of the progress of the trail.”

“The trail is like a Swiss army knife,” states Sanderson, “its multifaceted nature lets it fulfill many different needs. It connects people from all walks of life together. The B2B links a host of destinations together while capitalizing on our area’s first-class parks system, the river, and natural areas. It promotes safety, while being both a transportation corridor and a recreational destination for anyone who wants to use the trail, whether they are a commuter, an elite runner, a person with mobility limitations, or a child learning to ride a bike.”

Peter is from Ann Arbor where he has spent most of his life and currently resides with his wife, Megan. He is an outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible biking, backpacking, running, competing in triathlons, paddling, and skiing.

Peter shares a story from this summer about an encounter he had on the B2B. “This summer, I had just finished a mountain bike ride at the DTE Trail in the Waterloo Recreation area and was riding the B2B back to the Green Lake Campground where my wife and I were camping for the weekend. When I got to the tunnel under M-52, which was 95% complete at the time, I came across a gentleman who was talking to our construction inspector, John. The man was in his late 70s and was not from the area but had driven out to ride his bike on the DTE trail, which he had heard was excellent. He realized that the mountain bike trail was too difficult for him but he was ecstatic to find the B2B just across the street, which he described as “just his speed!” It is satisfying to be able to meet the needs of so many members of the community and to see people using and enjoying the trail.”

Sanderson says, “The support and hard work provided by my colleagues at WCPARC, HWPI, our partners, and the community is invaluable. It is wonderful to be part of a team of dedicated people who are helping to make this project a reality!”

Thank you, Peter, for your tireless dedication to creating this amazing trail that provides access to the outdoors and builds community across Washtenaw County.

HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Ken Fischer
August, 2020

Ken Fischer

We would like to introduce our August Volunteer of the Month, Ken Fischer. Ken is a husband, father, and grandfather who retired in 1987 after 30 years as president of the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. Ken currently teaches Arts Leadership at U-M, does a bit of consulting, serves on a few boards, volunteers with various community organizations, and tries to keep up with his two pre-teen grandsons in the San Francisco Bay Area as much as possible.

Ken Fischer’s HWPI involvement came through his connection to Karen McKeachie. He first met Karen back in the 1960s when she was in intermediate school and he was in U-M grad school, moonlighting as her French horn teacher. His friendship with her and her family grew when he returned to Ann Arbor for the UMS job. Devastated by her tragic death in 2016 when she was cycling on the Dexter-Chelsea road, he wanted to do something that would both honor her and provide a safer way for cyclists and runners to train. When he learned that Karen’s Trail would be a part of the larger B2B effort, he wanted to get involved.

According to Ken, “I had no idea when I asked the B2B folks ‘What can I do to help?’ that I would come to know such an exceptionally dedicated, talented, savvy, and successful group of people determined to get the B2B trail built in record time. They recognize that to accomplish their — now our — goal we must work together with others, urging everyone to put their best effort forward for the benefit of our community. Our approach is working amazingly well. HWPI’s vision is for healthy, active, and connected communities. How can someone who believes as passionately as I do in ‘Everybody In, Nobody Out’ not be an enthusiastic volunteer with the B2B project that connects communities and will be welcoming to all for generations to come?”

Thank you, Ken, for your tremendous support of our work!

HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Corynn Myers
April, 2020

Corynn Myers

We would like to introduce our April Volunteer of the Month, Corynn Myers. Corynn is the Digital Marketing Manager in the central Marketing & Communications office at the University of Michigan. She has been in the field of marketing and communications her entire professional career and enjoys putting her skills to good use to support nonprofit causes she believes in.

Corynn was connected to HWPI through her network at the University of Michigan and instantly fell in love with the dedication, passion and mission of our organization. Corynn leads HWPI’s Communications Committee, and assists HWPI in the development of communications strategies and implementation of effective outreach to our supporters through social media, email and our website.

After four years of living in various states while her husband served in the U.S. Army, Corynn is excited to put down roots and become an active member of our southeast Michigan community. She looks forward to exploring local green spaces and new hiking trails with her two young children and her husband.

“We love having a trail and park right behind our house,” says Corynn. “In fact, it was one of the main reasons we decided to move to the area. That trail has been used countless times. It was where my daughter learned to ride her bike, where my son and I had our first walk together after he was born, where we take family pictures together every year and a place for my kids to run and play when our yard just isn’t enough. Every family and individual should have these types of experiences and memories and what a better way to be part of those memories than through HWPI.”

Thank you, Corynn, for your tremendous support of our work!

To see past honorees, please visit the HWPI Volunteer Spotlight History page.