A 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!