Posts Tagged ‘Rouge Park’

State Rep. Santana’s support for biking

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

The Michigan House recently passed a resolution recognizing May as Bike Month in Michigan. The resolution was introduced by its primary sponsor Representative Harvey Santana from Detroit’s Tenth district.

“I’m proud that the House passed this resolution to help me encourage others to discover the love of biking that I share with countless cyclists in our great state,” Santana said. “Biking to work is an efficient and fun way to get the exercise you need without having to find extra time to work out, as well as a great way to get around town. And this year, with gasoline prices as high as they are, biking to work makes more sense than ever.”

Santana added that while many people think of country roads as a great place to bike, he looks at his own west side Detroit neighborhood as the perfect spot to enjoy a few miles of biking.

“The Tenth District is a perfect place to enjoy biking with Rouge Park being a major part of the district,” he said. “It contains many miles of paved and unpaved trails that residents can safely enjoy. Spring has sprung and the warm weather beckons all of us to get outdoors and enjoy it.”

I’ve known Harvey for many years and worked with him on the Rouge Park hike/bike trails. He was a prolific volunteer and a mountain bike racer.

When Harvey was elected, he asked what legislation could be passed to improve biking in Michigan. I suggested changing making right-hand turn signaling legal for bicyclists. As we’ve mentioned before, the current left-hand in the air sign looks like a wave and is certainly ineffective. We shouldn’t be educating cyclists to use something that few on the road understand. State law should support cyclists using common sense hand signals.

Besides, this change in state law will give a boost to Michigan’s rankings in the Bicycle Friendly States list.

Below is the Michigan Bike Month resolution, which contains some interesting facts about bicycling in Michigan.


Detroit Green jobs: Summer crew leaders

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Below are job openings with the SCA, a group that has been instrumental in building and improving the bike/hike trails at Detroit’s Rouge Park:

Detroit Community Crew Programs

You can make a difference this summer! Here’s your chance to be part of a program that promotes youth leadership and conservation! The Student Conservation Association is a dynamic, nonprofit national organization which encourages and supports youth in service to the environment. The SCA is currently accepting applications for Crew Leader positions with our 2011 Detroit Community Program.

Responsibilities: Co-lead, mentor and coach a crew of 10 students, ages 15-18, while completing various conservation service projects designed to build an ethic of community and environmental stewardship. Projects include trail and park maintenance, habitat restoration, neighborhood green space revitalization and urban agriculture. In addition, leaders will facilitate pre and post-program planning which includes crew training, environmental education and reporting. Program dates are July 11 – August 19. Mandatory, all expenses paid, residential training dates are June 1-10 (possible alternate dates).

Compensation: up to $3795 total salary depending on experience and crew length.

Qualifications: Be at least 21 years old; able to legally work in the US; have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record; First Aid/CPR certification, experience working with youth or young adults (ages 14-18); experience as a teacher or leader in an educational environment; experience with conservation or related skills, familiarity with and passion for the Detroit community.

How to apply: Send a cover letter and resume to the Detroit Program Manager at Please direct questions to or 313.285.1247. Crew leaders are hired on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

Work continues on Detroit’s mountain bike trail

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

SCA Detroit's Schcari Wade says making a difference for Detroit is "important because I live here." / Photo: Digging Detroit

The new hiking/biking trails at Rouge Park on Detroit’s west side began in 2004. Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) members Harvey Santana (who just won the state representative Democratic primary for the 10th district) and Todd Scott (myself) helped kick off the project. REI gave a generous grant to the project and volunteers helped build the trail.

It wasn’t completed, and after a change in project leadership, everything stalled.

Detroiters Chris Frey and Jason Friedmann re-started this project and by partnering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), have really taken this to the next level.

Digging Detroit posted an excerpt from the SCA’s Conservation Quarterly, The Green Way. It’s called SCA Crews Drive Motor City Makeover and here’s a portion of it.

Many SCA stories are about changing a student’s life.  Others focus on changing the fortunes of a national park.  This one is about changing the mindset of an entire city.

It’s August.  A blazing sun stokes the temperature into the 90s.  The heat index is well into the triple figures.  The mosquitoes are omnipresent and voracious.

Welcome to Detroit, where a crew of local high school students is cutting a new trail through Rouge Park.  The soil is dry and hard as a half dozen teens spread out, Pulaskis in hand, to grade a stretch they cleared the day before.

SCA Detroit is part of a nationwide, community-based SCA program that provides outdoor summer jobs to underrepresented youth.  Some 80 students participate in the Motor City alone, and they have much in common.   The majority are in their second or even third summer with SCA.  They constantly refer to the camaraderie spawned by their diligent teamwork.  And a common theme runs through their reasons for being there.

This is a clearly a great story on so many fronts.

It’s more than just building a trail.

Rouge Park Trail headed towards success

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

From Model D: Rouge Park trail workers After a promising start and a disappointing abandonment, the hike/bike trail at Detroit’s Rouge Park is back on track.

Last year the Student Conservation Association worked primarily on replacing steps to Scout Hollow, which is also in Rouge Park. But this year there was an interest in doing something more in line with was the SCA did throughout the country — build trails.

MTGA and the MMBA helped get the SCA started and away they’ve gone.

Model D has an excellent article this week that describes more about what’s happening in their article, Urban mountain bikers take heed: Rouge Park Trail being improved and expanded.

It’s expected that the SCA will finish up the 1.5 mile trail on the west bank of the Rouge River this year then tackle the east bank next year. Both projects combined will result in a challenging 3-mile singletrack loop for hiking and mountain biking — all within the Detroit city limits.

Look for a trail project wrap up celebration sometime next month.