DNR Recommends TWP Blue Star Trail Grant Approval
Saugatuck Township – December 22, 2023: Saugatuck Township has received notification from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that its application for a $300,000 grant to help fund construction of the north section of the Blue Star Trail will be recommended to the state legislature for approval in Spring 2024. When approved as expected, this grant will provide the final piece of the funding required to initiate construction of the north section of the Trail.
Daniel DeFranco, Saugatuck TWP Manager, said “I would like to thank our partners in Saugatuck City, Douglas, and the Friends for their patience and support as we worked through the re-application process with the DNR. The tri-community team is currently working with our engineering firm to complete the final construction-ready designs, obtain MDOT approval, and put this project out for bid in 2024.”
The Twp’s DNR grant will be combined with previously announced conditional approval of a $1.34 million MDOT grant, a $300,000 DNR grant for the City of Saugatuck awarded last year, a $205,000 local match from the Friends of the Blue Star Trail (Friends), $50,000 local match from the City of Saugatuck, and $10,000 local match from Saugatuck TWP.
The north section of the Trail will connect existing trail in Douglas heading north over the Kalamazoo River bridge with the existing section of Trail from Old Allegan Road to North Street, then move alongside North Street and slightly north alongside the TWP cemetery to connect with existing trail beside Holland Avenue. That existing piece of trail connects with the Beeline Trail to Holland near Burger King at 64th St. Once complete, this section of the Blue Star Trail will be over four miles long. It will give residents, students and visitors a safe path to bike, run and walk, as well as to access the many businesses, homes, parks and public spaces near its path.
Clark Carmichael, President of the Friends, adds “Kudos to Daniel DeFranco and his team for their determination to win this important DNR grant funding. With this piece and our ongoing alignment with the City, TWP, and Douglas, we are yet another step closer to completing this key section of the Trail.”