Anderson Challenge Match for
Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

GLEN ARBOR – Local residents Bill and Vicki Anderson, who were among the first supporters of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (SBHT), have issued a challenge pledge with a 2:1 match for all donations to the new trail through the end of March. The campaign still needs to raise $30,000 in order to secure the full Anderson Challenge match of $50,000. Bill Anderson shared his family’s motivation for posing the challenge match, “This summer, 10 years of planning and effort will become a reality for the first 5-mile link of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. To help sustain the momentum and encourage additional financial support we are offering a match of $50,000 if the $100,000 goal is reached by March 31st.”

The first section of trail connecting Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb will completed this July. The trail will provide easy, car-free access to amenities and attractions including the DH Day Campground, Glen Haven, Glen Arbor and the Dune Climb.

The SBHT campaign must raise $400,000 for design and engineering to extend the trail south from the Dune Climb to Empire. Donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized at a permanent donor plaza located at the Dune Climb. Well-known local artist Glenn Wolff created an illustrated map of the trail and donors of $5,000 or more will receive a limited edition signed print.

To donate or learn more about the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail please visit www.sleepingbeartrail.org or contact Pam Darling, Development Director for TART Trails (pam@traversetrails.org or 231-941-4300).

The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a project of the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee (LSHR). Trail development is a partnership between the LSHR Committee, the Michigan Department of Transportation, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, and TART Trails. Funding for trail development comes from federal and state grants, foundations, and individual donations.

About TART Trails:
Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization formed in 1998 and located in Traverse City, Michigan. TART works to enrich the Traverse area by providing a network of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use. TART Trails includes a network of trail systems located in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties. It is estimated that the trails serve over 200,000 users annually while preserving valuable community green space. TART is working to integrate these trails into the community by advocating for interconnected bike lanes, bike routes and sidewalks, and is also working to extend these trails to connect with a developing regional trails system. For more information about TART Trails, please visit www.traversetrails.org

About Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a unit of the National Park Service established in 1970. The Lakeshore preserves the outstanding natural and cultural heritage of the area so that all may experience and appreciate it. Significant resources of the Lakeshore include forests, beaches, dunes, and glacial landforms, as well as maritime, agricultural, and recreational historic features.

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Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Receives
$1.337 Million Transit-in-Parks Grant

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore News Release
January 17, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Ulrich, 231-326-5134

Empire, MI – The Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee, Michigan Department of Transportation, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore are proud to announce that a second Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant has been awarded to the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (SBHT) in the amount of $1.337 million in construction funds from its Paul S. Sarbanes Transit-in-Parks program. The funds will be used to construct the SBHT segment through the Lakeshore from Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive to Empire.

“The trail partners are very pleased by this second transit grant award,” said Patty O’Donnell of the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, who coordinates the activities of the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee. “This award emphasizes the recognition of the SBHT as a meaningful transportation alternative, as well as an outstanding recreational opportunity.”

The SBHT will be a hard-surfaced, multi-use trail paralleling state highways M-22 and M-109 for 27 miles through the Lakeshore. It will provide a safe, non-motorized, multi-use transportation alternative connecting the Lakeshore’s main visitor destinations with the neighboring communities of Glen Arbor and Empire. The first 4.3 mile segment, from the Dune Climb to Glen Arbor, will be built this spring and open for use by July.

A total of approximately $6.3 million in federal funding has now been awarded for construction of the SBHT from Empire to the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. These funds require a match of $850,000 for completion, and to date, over $500,000 in private foundation and individual donations has been raised. TART Trails Director Julie Clark, whose organization is coordinating the private fundraising effort, was excited by the grant award announcement. “As this significant piece of federal funding falls in place, we are well over halfway to meeting the match requirement.” said Clark. “If a few more trail supporters and community members step forward and contribute, we can all be hiking and biking the SBHT from Empire to Port Oneida by 2014!”

Congress established the Transit in Parks program to enhance protection of national parks and federal lands and increase visitor enjoyment. Administered by the FTA in partnership with the Department of Interior and the Forest Service, the program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails, in national parks and public lands. The program goals are to conserve natural, historical, and cultural resources, and reduce congestion and pollution.

For more information on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, please contact Patty O’Donnell at 231-929-5039 or Lakeshore Deputy Superintendent Tom Ulrich at 231-326-5134. For information on how to contribute to the SBHT effort, visit http://sleepingbeartrail.org/

Summer Trail Update

The Ticker – Traverse City News and Events
by Heather Johnson Durocher
June 28, 2011

Imagine trekking from the Dune Climb to Glen Arbor to the heart of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, then finishing the day in Empire – all without stepping foot in a car.

Such is the experience trail advocates are hoping will happen with the completion of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a hard-surfaced, multi-use trail paralleling M-22 and M-109 for 27 miles through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. With help from $70,000 from Rotary Charities, the trail’s first phase – connecting the Dunes to Glen Arbor – starts with a groundbreaking Aug. 12 and should open by summer 2012.

“I think it’s going to allow families in particular a safe way to visit different park attractions and be able to park their car and ride their bikes and see sights you couldn’t appreciate from driving by in a car,” says Pam Darling, marketing and outreach director for TART Trails, which is one of several organizations working to build the Heritage Trail. “It’s going to give a whole different perspective, being on a bicycle and being able to hear, smell and see the parts of the park.”

Along with the Heritage Trail, TART is working on several other bigger projects to connect various parts of the city with neighborhoods and schools. “In terms of the Grand Vision and what people said they wanted, bike-ability and walk-ability were the highest things,” Darling says. “We think we’re in the right place at the right time to advocate for more trails. I think – Traverse City, we’ve done a lot of good so far, but I think there’s a lot more that can be done to get everything connected.”

Two more trails in the works to make Traverse City even friendlier to those traveling by bike and on foot:

Buffalo Ridge Trail – This estimated $200,000 path eventually will run from Division Street to Silver Lake Road and on to West Middle School, the new YMCA and South Airport Road. Numerous neighborhoods also would become interconnected through trails. Up first: designing the pathway that’ll connect the Village at Grand Traverse Commons to the soon-to-be built extension of Franke Road at Silver Lake Road (also known as the South Campus entrance). “The road and trail are being designed simultaneously,” Darling says. Expected completion of this first phase: spring 2012.

Leelanau Trail – TART is seeking to raise $500,000 to pave the 6.5-mile path from Lakeview to Revold roads. “We hope to have it paved in time for Tour de Tart 2012,” Darling says.