The GreenWays Initiative connects communities, fosters increased engagement with the outdoors, promotes healthier lifestyles, and provides safe alternatives to motorized transportation.




"The investments [made] through the GreenWays Initiative have brought communities together in ways never seen [before] in southeast Michigan, working across jurisdictional lines to develop physical amenities that improve the environment, the economy and the communities they serve."

The Hon. Shaun DonovanU.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The GreenWays Initiative was developed to create opportunities for collaboration and shared environmental awareness and appreciation by the residents of the seven-county region served by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The initiative began a five-year initiative as a comprehensive effort to expand and enhance our region’s natural landscape.

The GreenWays Initiative was developed with several years of input from more than 70 organizations and agencies, as well as the encouragement and support of a group of community leaders committed to building greenways.

When the GreenWays Initiative launched in 2001, it was a sweeping effort aimed at expanding and enhancing our region’s natural landscape.


Through $33 million in foundation and private contributions, and another $125 million of matching investments from government and other sources, the GreenWays Initiative has helped more than 80 municipalities plan, design, finance and build more than 100 miles of connected greenways across southeast Michigan.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has become a national leader in greenways planning and advocacy, consulting with cities and regions throughout the United States about how to replicate our success through their own unique greenways systems.

What We’ve Funded

While most active grantmaking for new greenways was completed in 2006, Foundation staff continues to work with municipalities and organizations, sharing their experience on greenways development — zoning, financing, leveraging public and private dollars — and greenways maintenance.

Creating new greenways involves years of planning, fundraising and construction — along with community engagement and commitment. New greenways funded by the Community Foundation are still opening to the public and impacting different communities.

"Using the GreenWays Initiative’s investments to secure state and federal matching funds, the Community Foundation has made it possible to connect and create access to some of the most significant community resources in the city."

Todd ScottDetroit Greenways Coordinator


The Community Foundation can accept gifts of almost any kind, including:

  • Cash, by check or online donation
  • Securities traded on major exchanges
  • Closely held business interests
  • Interests in limited liability companies
  • Patent interests and other qualified intellectual properties
  • Mutual fund shares
  • Fully paid life insurance policies
  • Retirement plan assets
  • Real estate

How to Give

You can give online using our online giving platform.

Give Online

"Because of the [Rouge Gateway Greenway], students and faculty who live in west Dearborn can now walk or ride their bikes to campus. Visitors and staff can walk to and enjoy the amenities that downtown west Dearborn has to offer. The greenway provides a healthy, enjoyable and environmentally friendly way to experience the natural beauty of the Rouge River … "

Daniel LittleChancellor, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Don’t want to give online? Give by check, cash, securities or wire transfer.

Please make your check payable to the “Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan” and mail it to:

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
333 W. Fort St., Suite 2010
Detroit, MI 48226

For assistance with how to give gifts of cash, marketable securities or wire transfer, please review our Procedures for Making a Gift of Cash or Stock document.

Procedures for Making a Gift of Cash or Stock


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Tom Woiwode

GreenWays Initiative

313.961.6675, ext. 135