Our Connector Path project, done in partnership with Ontwa Township and the Cass County Road Commission, will connect the Edwardsburg Sports Complex with the Edwardsburg Public School system and the Village of Edwardsburg's own network of walkways. The purpose of the project is to allow safe travel for walkers and bikers from the Village to the Complex or vice versa.
The Connector Path will be a 10-foot-wide non-motorized pathway on the north side of US-12 from an existing pedestrian crosswalk at Claire Street in the Village of Edwardsburg west to the Edwardsburg Sports Complex. Just announced Friday, the Connector Path will receive a $40,000 grant award from the Michigan DNR's Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Why is it important?
A safe, off-road walkway is especially important in Edwardsburg for student-athletes that travel to the Complex after school for practices, but the Connector Path will have community-wide benefits. Studies show that "walkable" communities - those with safe, accessible traffic routes for walking, running, and biking - have healthier, more socially connected residents of all ages. Additionally, walkable environments can increase property values, promote tourism and support local business, and improve air quality by reducing auto emissions.
How will the project be funded?
The total anticipated cost of the project is $203,650. The Cass County Road Commission was awarded federal grant money through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. The federal funds will cover up to 80 percent of the project's costs. Additionally, Ontwa Township has committed $15,000 to the project, and the Sports Complex has committed $5,000.
The Michigan DNR has just announced it's funding recommendations for grants from its Natural Resources Trust Fund, which is a $40.3 million funding initiative to improve quality of life through outdoor recreation development. Their recommendations include a $40,000 award to our Connector Path project here in Ontwa Township. See the full press release from the Governor Snyder's office here, and view the full list of grant recipients here.
What can you do?
Stay tuned for updates on the Connector Path project by liking us on Facebook or subscribing to our e-newsletter here. The project is on track to be completed in the summer of 2018. The Complex's Youth Advisory Council will be putting on a couple small fundraisers early next year to support the project and to fund a week of exciting activities to celebrate the path's completion.