Bridgeport Township receives grant; begins construction at canoe / kayak launch
By Megan Decker
BRIDGEPORT – Crews began work last week on the new canoe/kayak access site at Davis Park in Bridgeport Township.
Part of the Cass River Water Trail project, this new site links Bridgeport Township with other launch sites in Frankenmuth, Tuscola Township, and Vassar. This new project includes a ramp/ launch facility, as well as new parking access, paths, and signage at the site. The site will also be fully handicap accessible.
“This project is three years in the making,” said Bridgeport Township Parks and Recreation Director Bill Wheeler. “It’s exciting to see it happen.”
The project deadline is Aug. 16, however crews are ahead of schedule and are expected to be finished with the project by the end of July, Wheeler explained. A $20,000 grant from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Network, presented to Bridgeport Township on Friday, July 15, will help pay for a portion of the project. The total cost of the project is approximately $225,000 and was primarily funded through a $178,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund, as well as contributions from the Andersen Foundation, McNally Family Foundation, and the Wickes Foundation.
“We’re excited that we continue to support this work along one of the Saginaw Bay Watershed’s most important rivers,” said Michael Kelly, Great Lakes Director of the Conservation Fund which administers the Saginaw Bay WIN project. “Communities all along the Cass are realizing that river access and building appreciation of this unique resource are critically important to the quality of life of their citizens. Opportunities to enjoy the Cass and all of our rivers lead to better stewardship and conservation, as well as economic development opportunities.”
“Davis Park is going to be a focal point of our park system, especially as it relates to the Cass River. Our residents have often said that access to the Cass is a high community priority, and this grant from Saginaw Bay WIN will allow us to make that a reality in an easily accessible place to come and enjoy,” Wheeler said.
WIN is a collaborative, community driven quality of life initiative created by a variety of environmental, business and community interests in 1996. According to its history, WIN was formed to create a more sustainable future for all who live, work and play within the Saginaw Bay watershed. One of the ways in which WIN accomplishes this objective is by providing financial support to projects that link the economic, environmental, and social needs of the region.
More information on WIN is available at www. saginawbaywin.org. Herald Photos/ Megan Decker