Non-profit seeks to support trail projects in Berrien County

A new nonprofit has been launched to advance the development of trail networks in Berrien County. Marcy Hamilton of the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission spoke to the Berrien County Board of Commissioners this week about Friends of the Berrien County Trails.

“They came at a really good time,” Hamilton said. “We really need that grassroots advocacy and we need a group to help fundraise to build those trails and keep them maintained.”

Hamilton said the group’s first steering committee meeting took place last month and they had hired a consultant to begin drafting a master plan. Goals include linking major trail networks around the county. Hamilton said the band will be seeking public input soon.

“You’ll see a link to a survey, an online survey, and we’ll be doing stakeholder interviews. We will also, depending on the COVID situation, try to do community meetings. »

Hamilton touted the benefits of trails, saying they increase safety in a community by keeping people off the roads, encourage healthier living, and attract residents, visitors and businesses. Several local governments are working with Friends of the Berrien County Trails, and Commissioner Ezra Scott told Hamilton he would be interested in helping once a master plan is developed. You can learn more about BerrienTrails.com.

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