The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron Belle Trail mini-grant deadline approaching


February 26, 2019


LANSING — Applications for the latest round of Iron Belle Trail mini-grants are due in the coming weeks.

Grant proposals for this fifth round of funding are due March 15, according to a Department of Natural Resources spokesperson, with selected grant recipients announced in May.

Eligible parties can seek grants up to $50,000.

A funding match is not required, the spokesperson said, although it is strongly recommended.

The latest round of mini-grants will prioritize segments ready to go into construction in the next year or two, said DNR state trails coordinator Paul Yauk, as well as project engineering and design, and the purchase of Iron Belle Trail signage.

“The Iron Belle Trail is Michigan’s ‘showcase trail’ — an outdoor recreation gem that takes trail users through many amazing places along both routes,” Yauk said in a news release. “These mini-grants go a long way toward bringing together the people and resources critical to completing each new mile of trail.”

The total funding available this year still isn’t determined.

Locally, the area has benefitted three of these mini-grants in the past, according to Western Gateway Trail Authority chair Scott Erickson.

“Right now we have an active mini-grant … that is allowing us to evaluate route options — trail locations — between Ramsay and Wakefield, and working both on non-motorized and motorized (trails),” Erickson said. “So we get the non-motorized and motorized groups together and we have funds that allow us to map out different options.”

Past mini-grants have been used for a variety of projects, including additional design work.

The non-motorized trail — which will run between Ironwood and Belle Isle in Detroit — is roughly 70 percent, according to the DNR spokesperson.

More than 75 Iron Belle projects have received more than $1.4 million in grant funding since 2015, according to the spokesperson.


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