Members of the Bike Michiana Coalition present a $5,000 check in support of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail to the Niles Charter Township Board of Trustees Monday. Submitted photo
Members of the Bike Michiana Coalition present a $5,000 check in support of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail to the Niles Charter Township Board of Trustees Monday. Submitted photo

Archived Story

$100,000 needed to complete Niles’ portion of River Valley Trail

Published 10:01am Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Supporters of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail officially kicked off their fundraising campaign with a presentation of a $5,000 donation to the Niles Charter Township Board of Trustees Monday evening.

Trail supporters say they’ll need around $100,000 from local sources to finish the first phase of a portion of the trail running from the Indiana/Michigan border to Brandywine Nature Park north of US Highway 12.

The entire trail, when finished, will be 34 miles long, connecting the City of Niles to St. Joseph County, Ind., Roseland, Notre Dame, South Bend, and Mishawaka.

Niles Charter Township has secured state and local grants for the project totaling $741,000, but a matching amount of $100,000 is needed from the township/donors to complete the project.

Trail supporters have already raised more than $40,000 from private sources, including $35,000 in grants from local foundations.

The $5,000 check presented to the board of trustees Monday came from the Bike Michiana Coalition.

“We have been supporters of all the work you have done to get this trail going,” said Judy Lee, of Bike Michiana Coalition. “You are committed to it, the people of the community are committed to it, and, with that passion, that’s why we get it done.”

Niles Charter Township approved the township’s portion of the trail in March.

Phase one is slated for 2013-14.

The second phase of the project will go from Brandywine Creek Nature Park to the City of Niles. Trail supporters estimate $278,000 will need to be raised to complete phase two, which is projected for 2015-16.

Harry Thibault, chairman of the township’s park commission, encouraged those interested in the trail project to visit and like the Friends of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FriendsoftheIMRVTrail.

Thibault said updates on the trail project and fundraising efforts will be posted to the Facebook page.

 

Fundraising snapshot

I-M River Valley Trail

Niles Charter Township

Phase 1

IN/MI state line to Brandywine Creek Nature Park

Total cost: $842,000

Funds raised as of June 8, 2013:

$415,000 MDOT grant

$286,000 MDNR grant

$10,000 Huizenga Family Foundation grant

$10,000 Anonymous local foundation grant

$10,000 Anonymous local foundation grant

$5,000 Anonymous local foundation grant

$5,000 Bike Michiana Coalition grant

$725 Individual donations

$500 Local family donation

$100 Casper Grathwohl donation

Total raised: $742,325

Amount needed to reach cost: $99,675

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