HWPI Volunteer Spotlight: Larry Deck

We would like to introduce our April Volunteer of the Month, HWPI Board Member, Larry Deck. Larry has been a leader in creating trails and greenways in Michigan. He led the creation of, and chaired, the organization that has evolved into the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. He initiated and served as the Project Director of the Southeast Michigan Greenways Project, which developed a constituency and vision for an interconnected greenway system in southeast Michigan. Before leading these statewide and regional efforts, he co-founded and chaired, in the 1980s, the Friends of the Lakelands Trail, a group that has promoted the rail-trail between Hamburg and Jackson, one of the first rail-trails in Michigan.

Larry has been on the board of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition since 2008, an organization founded in 2001, whose goal is to make Washtenaw County a national leader in bicycling and walking. He served on the Greenways Advisory Committee of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission from the time the Border-to-Border Trail concept was developed until the committee’s functions were absorbed by HWPI. He serves on the Transportation Coordinating Council of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), the city of Ann Arbor’s Alternative Transportation Committee, and the informal Ann Arbor Climate Partnership Working Group. He also served on the Technical Committee of the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS).

Larry has bicycled extensively for transportation and recreation in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan, the United States, and Europe. He has biked in all 83 Michigan counties, 22 states, and 11 countries, and through a series of several adjoining trips, has biked across the U.S. Larry and his wife take a multi-week bike trip most years, and they are anxious for the pandemic to lift so that they can resume their annual adventures.

Larry lives in Ann Arbor. He runs the Dexter-Ann Arbor half marathon most years. Before embarking on consulting and volunteer activities regarding trails and greenways, he designed and wrote technical software. We are excited to have you on board, Larry!

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B2B Trail Construction Updates

Across the county, we are preparing for a productive season of trail expansion! Tree clearing and subsequent clean-ups are in progress on the western side of the county and preparations are being made for trail improvements on trail segments in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. We look forward to sharing details with you as construction plans are finalized and timelines are projected. It’s going to be a great year for the B2B in every corner of the county!

Seasonal initiatives continue along the B2B Trail as we enjoy the longer days of spring. In partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MiDNR), WCPARC staff removed numerous invasive plants and shrubs to improve sight lines around the 90-degree turn of the Chelsea-Stockbridge Corridor by M-52 and along the trail near Green Lake. This work has given trail users an improved view of the small pond just north of the pedestrian tunnel.

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B2B Trail Construction Updates

Zeeb Road to Dexter – We are pleased to share that the second part of the Zeeb Road to Delhi Metropark project is underway. The first stretch of this trail section was finished in November 2020, which extended the B2B Trail along the Huron River through Delhi Metropark. Tree work is currently underway on the second section of this project that will add about a mile of trail extending from Zeeb Road to East Delhi Road. Not only will this project complete four miles of continuous trail from Dexter to Ann Arbor, it will connect three Metroparks: Hudson Mills, Dexter-Huron, and Delhi.

We hope to celebrate the official opening of this trail segment in the summer of 2022, in partnership with Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission and Huron-Clinton Metroparks!

We are excited to announce two construction projects that are projected to begin this year in Chelsea and Dexter!

We have the opportunity to break ground on two new trail projects on the western side of Washtenaw County this year. These potential projects could add over three miles to the Border to Border Trail by the end of 2021!

Chelsea-Stockbridge Corridor – This project would extend this trail segment 1.6 miles from Werkner Road to Sibley Road in Chelsea connecting the B2B Trail with Timbertown and Veteran’s Park.

Dexter-Chelsea Corridor – This project would build a section of trail in Dexter creating 1.5 miles of trail between Dancer Road and Wylie Road.

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B2B Trail Construction Updates

In 2021, our trail community will continue to see exciting progress as we move full steam ahead to add more miles to the Border-to-Border Trail System (B2B). In the next couple of weeks, we look forward to sharing the details of upcoming construction projects with you as plans are finalized. As we prepare for the year ahead, we would like to share a couple of updates on recently completed trail projects. These features will increase the safety for visitors who are currently enjoying winter activities along the trail.

Zeeb Road to Dexter Trail Segment – The Washtenaw County Road Commission has installed pedestrian signals at the red iron bridge in the Delhi Metropark, creating a safer crosswalk at East Delhi Road in Ann Arbor.

Frog Island Park, Ypsilanti – The City of Ypsilanti is currently installing new lighting along this B2B trail segment, which extends along the south and west sides of the park, parallel to the Huron River and connecting to East Cross and East Forest Streets. This trail segment currently has only one light fixture at the base of the bridge and amphitheater.

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