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LAKE MICHIGAN DRIVE PEDESTRIAN TUNNEL
Community Sponsorship Packets Are Now Available

If you would like to be a community supporter of the Fred Meijer Standale Trail Lake Michigan Drive Pedestrian Tunnel, please review the multiple sponsor levels available in our sponsor packet. Our goal is to provide opportunities for donors at all levels and greatly appreciate all contributions. The support from the community has been overwhelming and we are excited to extend even more partnerships.

Community Sponsor Packet

CITY OF WALKER KICKS OFF $2 MILLION PEDESTRIAN TUNNEL  

NOV. 20, 2014- During a community breakfast with local leaders, the City of Walker and the West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition (WMTGC) announced a fundraising kick-off to build a pedestrian tunnel that will connect the Fred Meijer Standale Trail under Lake Michigan Drive.

The Fred Meijer Standale Trail currently has a missing link at Lake Michigan Drive and directs trail users, via sidewalk, a half mile out of their way to cross at a signalized intersection. However, many trail users cross the five-lane road to continue along the alignment of the trail. The location of the gap is within the City of Walker's Standale Downtown Development District and near a City parking facility that is heavily utilized by GVSU students riding The RAPID's bus service.

One of the City’s goals is to design the tunnel to operate with low future maintenance costs. The tunnel will be well lit by natural light and additional electrical sources. The tunnel will also include a Community Art Gallery, which will display local history and artwork from schools and other organizations.

This summer the City of Walker was given a conditional commitment from MDOT for $1.2 million. In order for the commitment to be funded, Walker must raise approximately $700,000- $900,000 towards the project. Currently the City Commission has allocated $120,000 towards the project in FY 15. An additional $90,000-$120,000 will hopefully be allocated by the City in FY 16. MDOT is looking for funding commitment from the City and partners by summer 2015.

“We are excited to kick-off this project and are overwhelmed by the community support shown already. It is important to the City of Walker to include donors at every level during the fundraising campaign. We hope to raise awareness about the project as we raise the funds. We know we have a long way to go, but we are optimistic that with the support of residents, local leaders, businesses and organizations we can make this tunnel a reality.” said Walker City Manager Darrel Schmalzel.

Through a major donor campaign the City hopes to raise 50% of the MDOT match, which is approximately $350,000-$400,000. In addition, the City is currently working on a Local Community Fundraising Campaign that will raise funding needed for the MDOT match.

The Local Community Fundraising Campaign will include:

  • Community Sponsorship Levels that will be associated with aesthetic pieces in and around the tunnel. This includes benches, lighting, trees, additional landscaping, bike racks, picnic tables, etc.
  • An employee matching program with local businesses that will kick off after the first of the year.
  • Events such as a Walker Restaurant Night.
  • Trails Recreational Events
  • Mobile Text campaign in collaboration with WMTGC
The Fred Meijer Standale Trail (FMST) is a primary regional trail in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. It connects the Fred Meijer Millennium Park trail network, Kent Trails to the south, and the City of Grand Rapids bicycle lane network to the east. It is also a short segment away from connecting to the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail, which upon completion, will link the Musketawa Trail and the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. The FMST connects schools, parks, neighborhoods, civic areas, businesses, and points of commerce within Standale and the City of Walker. In addition, the Standale Trail serves as the hub and center of our west Michigan trail network.

To make an online donation click below
**Please be sure to indicate in the "Designation" box M-45 Tunnel**

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Fundraising and Support Team
Amber Kneibel, Walker Marketing & Promotions Coordinator
Darrel Schmalzel, Walker City Manager
Frank Wash, Walker Assistant City Manager
Scott Conners- Walker City Engineer
Travis Mabry- Walker Staff Engineer
Doug Cramer- Walker/ Standale DDA Chairman
Kati Santee- Executive Director West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition
Jean King- President Walker Highlands Trails Groups

 

If you would like more information or if you would like to donate to this project, please contact Amber Kneibel at akneibel@ci.walker.mi.us.

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