Calumet, Michigan - A group of local municipalities and non-profit organizations has received a grant from the National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program. The grant will provide technical assistance for planning a cohesive trail corridor around and through Calumet Township, the Village of Calumet, and the Village of Laurium. Initial project partners include Main Street Calumet, Inc., the Village of Calumet, Calumet Township, the Village of Laurium, the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau (KCVB), the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) and the Keweenaw National Historical Park (KNHP), though area stakeholders, including the public, are expected to participate as the process evolves.
“Recreation is a powerful driver in the tourism economy and an important factor when people choose where they want to live. Our project partners realize Calumet has great assets in our extensive network of trails and historical features, and we want to make sure we’re taking full advantage of these resources for our current residents to enjoy, as well as to attract visitors and new residents to our community”, said Main Street Calumet Executive Director, Leah Polzien.
This grant will bring the expertise of a RTCA team that will help identify a logical and attractive way to link current trail systems together, suggest cohesive signage that will direct people to the trail as well as to downtowns and suggest some physical changes that may be necessary for improved access. For example, certain areas of trail could benefit from physical alterations to the trail to make them wider to allow for a row of trees or other barrier to separate motorized from non-motorized traffic.
While this grant is only for technical support to develop a plan for a local trail system, RTCA works hard to help communities secure funding to execute the projects. Planning work for this project is anticipated to begin within the next 60 days. This project will require input from community members and stakeholder groups and it should be a great way for everyone involved to gain experience working together and to improve our communities ability to take on additional projects in the future. Integrating Calumet area trails with other regional trail systems might be a possible next step.
The project team hopes that the initiative will also increase patronage of downtown businesses by trail users and improve access to the area’s historical features and recreational assets for area youth. Convenient access to local recreational assets will make the Calumet area a more desirable place to live and visit generating positive economic growth for the community over the next several decades.
Questions about this project can be directed to Leah Polzien, Executive Director of Main Street Calumet via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (906)337-6246. Main Street Calumet is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on historical preservation and economic revitalization in Calumet. More information about the organization can be found at www.mainstreetcalumet.com.