The City of Three Rivers and Fabius Township recently kicked-off a new cooperative trail planning effort. The goal of the new initiative is to establish a proposed pathway connection from downtown Three Rivers to Meyer Broadway Park and develop a comprehensive implementation plan.
Guided by the Partnerships for Change Sustainable Communities Program, a special planning committee consisting of officials from the City of Three Rivers, Fabius Township, St. Joseph County Parks and Recreation Department, Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency and St. Joseph County Land Use Council, will convene a series of community-wide discussions concerning the plans for developing a new trail.
Over the next several months, with public support and input, the planning committee will work to identify the best route of the new trail. Committee members will examine issues associated with land use, natural features, road right-of-way, the location of easements and crossing US-131.
The planning committee will be supported by staff from LIAA, a non-profit community service organization based in Traverse City. The first meeting of teh planning committee was held in April after the two jurisdictions were awarded a $7,000 service grant from the Partnerships for Change Sustainable Communities Program.
The Partnerships for Change Sustainable Communities Program was created by LIAA, in cooperation with the Michigan Municipal League, Michigan Association of Planning, and Michigan State University to help cities, villages and adjacent townships work together to stimulate and support multi-jurisdictional policies and programs that result in the preservation of valuable cultural and natural resources. A $1,500 local match for the project was provided by Waste Management which operates a facility in Fabius Township and has provided land and funding for the establishment of Meyer Broad Park.
The new initiative will build upon a 2007 non-motorized trail study and survey which identified a Downtown/Meyer Broadway Park trail connection a top priority.
The 6-month long planning process will involve at least one public meeting at which citizens will be asked to provide their input on the proposed location of the trail. In addition, the planning committee will meet with local officials, MDOT officials, business owners and residents to gather additional input.
For more information on this project, please contact the following members of the planning committee:
Bruce Snook, Co-Chair
St. Joseph County Land Use Council
Brad Neumann, Land Policy Educator
St. Joseph County, MSU Extension
Merritt Brown, Special Projects Engineer
City of Three Rivers
Stan Brueck, Chair
Fabius Township Planning Commission
Harry Burkholder, Community Planner