Posts Tagged ‘Tri-Centennial Park’

Goodbye Tri-Centennial. Hello Milliken State Park.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

mhc_am_PresidentsMilliken_264767_7As we mentioned earlier, the DNR is renaming Tri-Centennial State Park on the Detroit RiverWalk to the William G. Milliken State Park.

Given the Governor’s background in conservation, this it certainly fitting. This background is highlighted in the name change resolution (see below) that was passed by the Natural Resources Commission last month.

Another conservationist will also be honored at the park. The Stroh family contributed funding in honor of the late Peter Stroh to help make this park possible. As the N.Y. Times reported, “Mr. Stroh was a founding board member of Conservation International and served on the boards of the Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.”

Speaking of the park, the big question is when will this new section be open? The last we checked, portions of the bike path have been paved but more landscaping needs to be completed. The weather is really the determining factor on when the project will be done. The contract specifies a November completion and the DNR is still hoping for the end of this month. However, the rain and cold weather aren’t helping.


Photos from the Tri-Centennial sneak peek

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Today Detroit Riverfront Conservancy members were treated to a sneak peak of the Tri-Centennial State Park’s latest expansion.

This will be an amazing addition to the RiverWalk. It’s certainly softer and more natural than the other sections. All of the plantings are native to Michigan.

There was an initial concern that geese would try eating many of the early plantings, but the DNR was able to prevent that. Now there is a muskrat that has been digging up the young plantings. He may be trapped and moved so that the plants have a better chance of establishing themselves.

You may notice the monarch butterflies on the purple coneflowers. There were quite a few there today as they make their way south towards Point Pelee, Ontario. The butterflies gather at the Point and make the flight across Lake Erie in large groups.

There was no official word on when this portion of the park will open. The bike path still needs to be paved and landscaped.

Tri-Centennial State Park special opening this Sunday

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Tri-Centennial State Park on the Detroit RiverWalk

A new section of the Detroit RiverWalk is set to open this Sunday, but only for members of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. If you’re not a member yet, you have until Friday to join and get your free pass.

From the DRC web site:

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is hosting its first Member Appreciation Open House on Sunday, September 27 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at Rivard Plaza. The event will feature a sneak peek tour of the soon-to-open, new 6-acre section of Tri-Centennial State Park. Tours will begin at 15 minute intervals throughout the afternoon.

This family-oriented Open House will feature a variety of interactive nature exhibits from the Nature Discovery (Michigan amphibians & reptiles), Wildlife Recovery Association (Michigan birds of prey) and the Howell Nature Center (Birds of prey and Michigan mammals). Michigan Sea Grant and Riverside Kayak will also be onsite to showcase kayaking and fishing on the Detroit Riverfront.

Conservancy members will be able to enjoy complimentary refreshments from the RiverWalk Cafe and free carousel rides. Diamond Jack will provide complimentary river tours for members.

This new section of the state park helps close some of the gap between the RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut.

Model D also has additional coverage of this event.

There is also discussion underway to rename Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor to the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor. That seems like a fine idea given the former Michigan governor’s dedication to environmental preservation.

Pedal Press around Metro Detroit: September 1st, 2009

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

m-bike is still here! We’ve been enjoying (and recovering from) a crazy adventure in Colorado for the past couple weeks…

Here’s a collection of recent media coverage regarding trails and biking across Metro Detroit.

Orion Township

The Oakland Press is reporting on improvements to the Polly Ann Trail extension. This extension runs from the south border of the Indianwood Golf Course to just south of Waldon. This is 3.5 miles in total. The new surface is apparently crushed limestone similar to the Paint Creek.

Unfortunately Orion Township is still pushing side paths (known as safety paths in Oakland County) as bicycling facilities despite the national guidelines saying they shouldn’t be. While sidepaths and sidewalks are fine for pedestrians and less skilled riders, they should not be designated bicycle facilities. Instead the township should be calling for safe on-road bicycling facilities that meet the AASHTO national guidelines.

Shelby Township

The Free Press gave brief mention to the trail construction underway in Shelby Township as part of the much larger Macomb Trail Loop.

Construction is under way for a hiking and bike trail that is designed to eventually link to a loop around central and northern Macomb County.

Crews are building a 1-mile trail in River Bends Park near 22 Mile and Shelby Road in Shelby Township that will link up with a trail that runs along the Clinton River in Dodge Park in Sterling Heights.

Leaders plan to eventually have a 70-mile trail loop. So far, 44 miles are completed.

Detroit RiverWalk

Crain’s Detroit Business has thorough article on the Detroit RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut — they’re current status, planned construction, and future developments.

The pace of private investment in the riverfront district has slowed with the economy, but plans to bring aesthetic improvement and ease accessibility to the river are to be finished or expanded.

Current public space improvements will serve as a foundation for renewed private development on the water once the economy rebounds, said Faye Alexander Nelson, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Two of the six major residential developments that were in the planning process in 2007 are still moving; one has been reconfigured as an office/industrial building.

The DNR is also continuing to move forward with future enhancements to Tri-Centennial State Park next to the Rivard Plaza. The next phase will certainly include yet another RiverWalk path extension and an improved connection to the Dequindre Cut.

Detroit’s Green Task Force

M-Live has a great written and audio coverage of Detroit’s Green Task Force, which headed by Detroit Council President Ken Cockrel, Jr.

Bicycle trails and greenways trough out the City of Detroit are part of the Green Task Force’s non-motorized plans.

“At least during the warm weather months, I like to bike a lot, and I’m a big fan of the Dequindre Cut, the new trail opened up earlier this year for walkers, joggers and bikers,” Cockrel says. “And we want to do more of that in Detroit.”

Yes we do want to do more of that! In fact, in my role as Detroit Greenways Coordinator for MTGA, we recently proposed an eight-figure stimulus request which would effectively extend the Dequindre Cut around the city’s midsection. While this proposal is not looking too likely today, there is a great deal of interest among many parties to make it happen somehow.

Pizza Super Highway

Model D has a very cool article on Detroiter Karen Gage. Given that Karen’s an owner of Wheelhouse Detroit, it’s no surprise bicycling is entertwined in her daily routine.

Noon: A slice at Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market. If she can squeeze it in, she loves to grab lunch at this relatively new spot next to the region’s premier farmers market. “It is hands down the best pizza I’ve ever had,” she says. The Wheelhouse crew often bikes there on the Dequindre Cut bike path, which opened this year. With graffiti encouraged, the $3 million, 1.2 mile greenway replaced a former depressed rail corridor. And now Karen and the bike shop crew call it their “pizza super highway.”

With her job at the New Center Council, Gage is also active in promoting non-motorized transportation, including potential bike lanes along Second Avenue, which would connect the Fisher Building to the Wayne State Campus.

Getting Outdoors

And finally, the Detroit News is reminding everyone to get outside as summer wraps up and take advantage of the many opportunties that we have in Metro Detroit. Our favorite quote is from another Wheelhouse Detroit owner.

“Biking is absolutely the best way to see Detroit,” says Kelli Kavanaugh of Wheelhouse Detroit, which rents bikes and also provides bike tours of the city. “It’s flat and fast and, since our roads were built for a population of 2 million, there is plenty of room on them for bikes,” Kavanaugh says. “It’s healthy … it’s green, and most of all it is super fun.”

Biking and Trails in the Media

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
Make sure you stop by the booth at the RiverDays event this weekend on the Detroit RiverWalk

Make sure you stop by the M.T.G.A. booth at the RiverDays event this weekend on the RiverWalk

The Metro Times has a new article, Rolling on the Riverwalk, which provides an overview of Tri-Centennial state park construction and how it fits in with the Detroit RiverWalk.

In the current era of uncertainty in the auto industry, the Riverwalk is promising a bright future for human-powered movement.

And on a related note, today the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is celebrating the 90th anniversary of Michigan State Parks. There will be a cake cutting at Tri-Centennial State Park at 4pm today, June 20th. So come downtown, enjoy the RiverWalk, Dequindre Cut, and have some cake.

The Detroit News has an article, Michigan ramps up roads and trails to make bicycling easier.

The Michigan Department of Transportation now maintains more than 2,560 miles of paved shoulder with bicycle access. The state also has more than 1,394 miles of rails-to-trails — abandoned railroad tracks that have been converted into biking, hiking and walking trails. Combine those rails-to-trails with trails through parks and public land, and downtowns and neighborhoods, and the stretch increases to more than 2,000 miles, said Nancy Krupiarz, executive director of the Lansing-based nonprofit Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. Additional bike-hike trails and greenways are expected.

This article wraps up with a great quote about biking from Rochester resident Colleen Brown.

“It’s like being a kid again. I always tell people that no matter how bad you feel, get on a bike. Ride around the neighborhood, feel the wind and sun on your face. You see the world differently. When you bike you can stop and smell the roses.”