MPACF Awarded Grant from Consumers Energy Foundation in Support of Shepherd to Mt. Pleasant Pathway
The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation today accepted a $25,000 grant from Consumers Energy Foundation to support the next phase of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway (MMCP).
The 6.8 mile paved, non-motorized trail will connect the communities of Shepherd and Mt. Pleasant as part of a larger project to ultimately run north/south from Clare to Ithaca. The Village of Shepherd will bid the project this spring and construction will take place over the summer months. Starting at the intersection of Deerfield and South Mission in Mt. Pleasant, the trail will head south along Mission until Blanchard Road. Then the trail will travel east on Blanchard Road until connecting to an existing trail in Shepherd. This section of the pathway is scheduled to be complete by October.
The Mid-Michigan Community Pathways (MMCP) Group is comprised of community members from Clare, Isabella, and Gratiot counties. “The first section of the trail opened this past fall in Gratiot County,” said President Steve Davidson. “So many have come together to make this project happen.” Large grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, Saginaw WIN, Charter Township of Union, and Village of Shepherd make up most of the $2.2 million needed for this phase of construction. The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation has worked with the MMCP Group to raise much of the rest, with grants from the Shepherd Community Fund and Community Impact Fund, as well as the Gerstacker Foundation and today’s gift from the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Several individual donors from our community also contributed to this project through the Community Foundation,” said Executive Director Amanda Schafer. “There is a great deal of excitement about breaking ground on this portion of the pathway.”
A new group has formed, calling themselves the Isabella County Friends of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway. They will focus on trail maintenance and repairs, promotion, and overall care. “We can’t wait to hold events on the pathway,” said President Wendy Oswald. “Local cross country kids can practice on the trail, families can ride their bikes; there are endless possibilities.”
The Isabella County Friends of the MMCP will hold their first ever fundraiser this spring in anticipation of the new trail. Ales for Trails will take place April 28-29th in downtown Shepherd. The beer tent will be open from 5:30-11:30 pm each night and local favorite Jedi Mind Trip will provide entertainment Saturday. Learn more about the event as it takes shape by visiting Mid-Michigan Community Pathways page on Facebook.