On March 22, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail project in Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County received SEMCOG’s Regional Showcase Award. Carlisle/Wortman Associates provides planning services to the township and helped Matthaei apply for one of the grants that supported the project.
The Regional Showcase Award was established to highlight projects that implement the strategies and recommendations in SEMCOG’s regional plans adopted by its member communities.
“We are thrilled to award Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County with the Regional Showcase Award. The award showcases projects that implement our vision of a connected, thriving region of small towns; dynamic urban centers; active waterfronts; diverse neighborhoods; agricultural land; and parks, trails, and natural areas,” said Kathleen Lomako SEMCOG Executive Director.
The award recognizes a two-mile, hike-and-bike trail connecting the Iron Belle Trail and Border-to-Border Trail to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County. Opened in October 2017, the trail provides direct connections and biking and walking access to and from the Botanical Gardens for multiple regional destinations including parks and recreation facilities, educational institutions, and employment and heath care opportunities. The trail addresses a significant safety concern that existed along Dixboro Road, which is a busy county artery with narrow shoulders inadequate for biking or walking.
“This trail is the result of a multi-year collaboration with the University of Michigan and many other great partners,” noted Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran. “We are grateful for the support on behalf of all who will use this trail.”
Nearly $3 million in public and private funds were invested in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail from many partners – Ann Arbor Township, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Transportation, SEMCOG, University of Michigan, and Washtenaw County.