Trails and Greenway Projects Receive Support For Maintenance

In General

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund is One of the Only Funds in the Country Focused on Maintenance of Developed Trails

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, together with Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, announced nearly $800,000 in grants to six recipients through the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund. The goal of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund is to provide maintenance support to already developed trails and greenways.

“Parks and trails enrich a community’s quality of life and economic vitality, and public and private funding for the long-term maintenance of these important assets is critical,” said JJ Tighe, Director of Parks & Trails Initiative, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “Our trails and greenways in southeast Michigan continue to connect people and communities to each other and provide recreational opportunities to get people moving while enjoying nature.”

As part of the 100th anniversary of Ralph Wilson Jr.’s birth and celebration of his legacy and community devotion, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation announced a $10 million endowment in 2019 to support the maintenance of greenways throughout the southeast Michigan region.

“We are committed to enhancing our region with ideal outdoor experiences,” said Mariam Noland, President, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “As an endowed fund, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund at the Community Foundation ensures that local trails and other public spaces are maintained both now and for years to come.”

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.

Organizations receiving the grants are working to solve extraordinary circumstances where a component of a trail or greenway requires some form of restoration or intervention.

2021 Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund grantees include:

  • Auburn Hills (Clinton River Trail) – $200,000
  • Milford Township (Huron Valley Trail) – $175,000
  • Flat Rock (Downriver Linked Greenways) – $150,000
  • Michigan DNR (Belle Isle and start of Iron Belle Trail) – $100,000
  • Grosse Ile (Downriver Linked Greenways and Iron Belle Trail) – $80,000
  • Lyon Township (Huron Valley Trail) – $75,000


About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1.2 billion through more than 80,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, visit

About the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. Prior to his passing in 2014, Mr. Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation that bears his name. The foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This structure is consistent with Mr. Wilson’s desire for the foundation’s impact to be immediate, substantial, measurable, and overseen by those who knew him best. For more information, visit