Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative Earns National Accolades as Outstanding Support Organization


(L) Kristin Warzyniec, HWPI and Meghan Bonfiglio, WCPARC. Courtesy WCPARC.

In a triumphant moment for local non-profit advocacy, the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative (HWPI) has been named the 2023 Outstanding Support Organization by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO). HWPI received this prestigious recognition following a nomination from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission (WCPARC).

HWPI's exceptional efforts in private fundraising, community engagement, and ongoing support along the Border-to-Border Trail (B2B Trail) contributed to the organization's selection for this award. Their partnership with WCPARC has spurred the development of non-motorized recreational pathways throughout Washtenaw County, transforming the region's landscape and encouraging outdoor activity among the residents.

Coy Vaughn, WCPARC Director, expressed profound admiration for HWPI's efforts and the collaborative ethos they have championed in developing the B2B Trail. "This partnership has been the foundation of the B2B Trail. Working with HWPI has substantially elevated this project and allows Washtenaw County Parks to complete the project much quicker and efficiently than we would on our own," Vaughn said.

The organization's success has also been buoyed by its ability to cultivate a public-private partnership with WCPARC. This cooperation has been instrumental in leveraging local funding, acquiring state and federal grants, and garnering substantial donor contributions. This combined funding approach has expedited the B2B Trail's construction and linkage to Michigan's already robust and expanding trail network.

The receipt of the award sparked a sense of honor, humility, and gratitude within HWPI. Upon learning of the recognition, HWPI Executive Director Kiff Hamp stated, "HWPI is honored and humbled to have received this award from the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials. We are also deeply thankful to the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission for nominating us, and for their incredible partnership over the past six years. We look forward to many more years of collaboration to make a positive impact on the Washtenaw County community."

The Border-to-Border Trail. Image: WCPARC.

The B2B Trail is a 35-mile, 10-foot wide, ADA-accessible, paved pathway with six different trail corridors connecting you to cities, parks, and many destinations from border to border across Washtenaw County.

With much of the trail completed, construction continues. A segment is being built to take the route from N Territorial Rd up to Stockbridge, connecting it to the 33-mile Mike Levine Lakelands Trail.

This summer, prep work will begin for a 0.7-mile trail segment on the Dexter-Chelsea Corridor from Wylie Rd. to the edge of Dexter at Parker Rd. Looking ahead to 2024/2025, the City of Dexter is exploring pathway options for the 0.8-mile trail segment that will make the final connection into downtown Dexter, which will join with an existing piece leading to Hudson Mills.

The Dexter-Ann Arbor Corridor continues with the Zeeb Rd to Delhi Metro Park segment. Work is currently paused but is expected to resume after Labor Day. And still in the works are plans to take the trail from Hudson Mills north to Pinckney.

Congratulations to Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative for its well-deserved reward and to Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation for its tireless work engineering these trails.

Thank you to all who have made this happen.

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