Great Lakes Moment: A Great Lakes Way stretching from southern Lake Huron through Western Lake Erie Great Lakes Now

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This story was originally published in Great Lakes Now.

The Eastern Seaboard has the Appalachian Trail, the Western Seaboard has the Pacific Rim Trail, and the Rocky Mountains has the Continental Divide Trail. If the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has its way, southeast Michigan will soon have a regional trail of national significance called the Great Lakes Way.

In 2001, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan launched the GreenWays Initiative. Thus far, $33 million in foundation and private contributions have leveraged another $125 million of matching investments to plan, design, finance and build more than 100 miles of connected greenways across southeast Michigan.

Building on this foundation, the Community Foundation together with regional partners developed a vision map for the Great Lakes Way – an interconnected set of 156 miles of blueways or water trails and 143 miles of greenways stretching from southern Lake Huron through western Lake Erie. The vision is that all residents and visitors of southeast Michigan are connected to and benefit from world-class freshwater, wildlife, recreation, and heritage right in our backyard through the Great Lakes Way.

An emphasis will be placed on ensuring that all residents and visitors – people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and interests – feel welcomed and share in its benefits. This Great Lakes Way will improve close-to-home outdoor recreation, enhance regional competitive advantage, help attract and retain employees for businesses, and celebrate, protect and capitalize on our region’s defining natural resources.

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