Watkins Lake Trail Updates River Raisin Park Bids Set to Go Out

By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

The Manchester Village Council passed another resolution supporting the Watkins Lake Trail Monday, August 20. Watkins Lake State Park was dedicated as the state’s 103rd state park in Oct. 2016.

The park features over 1,000 acres of meadow, forest, wetlands, and open water. Washtenaw County and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources jointly manage the park, a first in the history of the state.

With much of the land undeveloped one opportunity that lied within the park was a 4.5-mile former rail corridor that goes from east to west in the park. The plan has been to develop that rail corridor into a non-motorized pathway to continue to connect local communities together and give community members safer non-motorized opportunities.

The resolution passed was in support of the Watkins Lake Trail in Manchester Township and the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Connecting Communities grant application. Manchester Township had passed a similar resolution in support of the project.

The Connecting Communities Grants is a program from the MDNR that provides funding for the development of non-motorized trails or similar projects.

All projects are scored on a competitive basis and will be awarded funds based on a score of their project. Projects receiving grant funding will be announced in the fall.

It was also announced that bids for the construction of the new River Raisin Park in downtown Manchester can now go out after hitting a snag before with their site plan. The MDNR had to review the plan, all it needed was an additional two trash cans, before once again approving the project plan.

Village Manager Jeff Wallace told council that the park will go out for bid the week of Aug. 25 and will likely be back for council review at the Sept. 17 meeting.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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