Posts Tagged ‘DNR’

Comments sought on Milliken State Park plans

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

If you were at RiverDays, you might have seen the below graphic. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) It’s a conceptual plan for expanding Milliken State Park and the Detroit RiverWalk.

What do you think about this vision? The Michigan DNR is asking that you send you email your comments.

A copy of the original PDF is available.

We got a TIGER for the trail!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

After getting rejected for funding in the TIGER III, the city of Detroit and collaborators tweaked the grant proposal and re-submitted for TIGER IV.

We didn’t get the $15.3 million we asked for, but we did get $10 million.

What does this fund? The proposal centers around Eastern Market by improving streetscapes and bridges, while making three non-motorized connections via a Dequindre Cut extension, another segment of the Midtown Loop, and bike lanes to the proposed Hamtramck Trails network.

There’s more coverage on the MTGA web site and in articles by Crain’s Detroit Business and mLIVE.

Globe Trading Building

While these greenway connections improve access to Eastern Market, they also improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians heading to the Detroit RiverWalk and Milliken State Park. As for the latter, last month the DNR announced their $12.8 million investment in an Outdoor Discovery Adventure Center in the park and along the Dequindre Cut.

This Free Press article makes it sound like quite the trail-side attraction.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources said this morning it anticipates as many as a million visitors a year coming to its planned discovery center to be built in the historic Globe Building on Detroit?s east riverfront.

Features will include a 60-foot climbing wall, an archery range, simulator rides demonstrating kayaking and other water sports, and classrooms to teach schoolchildren and other visitors outdoor safety as well as the science of natural resources and wetlands.

And yes, a young Henry Ford was an apprentice in this building while working on ship engines.

Given the current state of the Globe Trading Building, it’s difficult imagining that it will be open next year, but that is the timeline.

The DNR also expects a million visitors a year.

Detroit 2020 looks at RiverWalk developments

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

The Detroit 2020 takes a look at the RiverWalk and proposed development along the river, including the exciting Milliken State Park Discovery Center in the Globe Trading Building.

The RiverWalk goes through the Milliken State Park, which is Michigan’s only urban state park. Just across the street from the park and right next to the Dequindire Cut is the historic Globe Trading Company Building — where Henry Ford once worked as an apprentice. It will the become the Milliken State Park Adventure and Discovery Center, complete with an archery range, rock climbing, and outdoor activities. “The building is about 100-thousand square feet — we will be taking about 50-thousand square feet turning it into the discovery center — we’re looking for partners to come in and work with us on developing the other side,” said Rodney Stokes, Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

DNR leader Rodney Stokes is no stranger to Detroit. After he first retired from the state, he served as deputy parks director in Detroit.

As for the other possible occupants of the Globe Trading Building, they might be green — and a wonderful, exciting fit.

Interestingly enough, if it weren’t for the unsuccessful pursuit of putting casinos on the riverfront, we may not have a RiverWalk or a Dequindre Cut. The city purchased the latter property in hopes of creating an access road to the casinos. That said, losing places like the Woodbridge Tavern and Soup Kitchen was a steep price to pay.

Progress is apparently underway on the contaminated Uniroyal site, a project being led by the DEGC. There are a number of workers and construction equipment on site. This is one of the key missing pieces between the existing RiverWalk, Belle Isle, and the Gabriel Richard Park and plaza.

Here’s the Detroit 2020 video:

Update on Milliken State Park and Globe Building

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting on the DNR’s plans to build an adventure and discovery center in the historic Globe Building located on the Dequindre Cut and Detroit RiverWalk.

Anthes said the DNR is aiming to open the activity center in the fall of 2012, and it’s working with the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and the developer, Troy-based Labor Management Fund Advisors. The developer is seeking at least one more occupant for the remainder of the building, and is working out financing for the balance of the project.

Besides the rock-climbing wall and zip lines, planners also envision an interpretive forest, archery range and classroom space in the gutted but structurally sound building. Anthes said they also are considering a kayak simulation ride as a rider might have on the river across the street.

Anthes said they haven’t found anything quite like it nationally, and it makes sense to create such a center in the largest city of the Great Lakes State.

Perhaps the most exciting new information is the anticipated opening date of fall 2012.

As we’ve said before, this project will bring tremendous value to this area and these trails. It will become a major destination for Detroiters as well as tourists.

There are two previous m-bike articles from 2010 that discussed the globe building and grant funding.

Stokes to lead new DNR

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Married. Divorced. Re-married. Divorced. That’s the continuing saga of Michigan’s Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Quality (DEQ) Departments.

Governor-elect Rick Snyder announced his intention to re-separate the two departments after  Governor Granholm brought them back together last year.

How does this affect us? Perhaps not much. There was a concern about combining the two departments and losing some focus on natural resources.

The DNR, DEQ, and Department of Agriculture will now report to Quality of Life group executive Dan Wyant, a former director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture .

Snyder said, “I’m bringing in a business model approach that is much more effective and efficient.”

This management model is similar to the one Detroit Mayor Dave Bing implemented last year.

New DNR Director

Perhaps what will affect us more than this re-structuring is  Snyder’s naming of Rodney Stokes as DNR Director.

Stokes has been with the DNR for many years and filled many roles, including director of state parks from 1996 to 2002. He is currently chief of the DNRE Office of Science and Policy.

He even retired from the state at one point and worked as the deputy director for the Detroit Recreation Department before returning to the DNR.

Stokes was also a member of the East Riverfront Study Group in 2002 which helped get us to the Detroit RiverWalk we have today.

He is well aware of the importance of trails and urban parks — and we think that’s a very good thing.