Canton Township was the recent recipient of a $40,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access, which was awarded by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. These grant dollars will be used to fund the design of additional Lower Rouge Trail pathways and pedestrian bridges. The Lower Rouge Trail is a popular trail system, which offers three miles of non-motorized trails located in Canton, MI. In addition, this grant will also be utilized to design additional hybrid pedestrian beacon crossings, also known as the High intensity Activated crossWalK (or HAWK) signals, located at the trail crossings on Sheldon, Lilley and Lotz Roads, north of Michigan Avenue.
The Lower Rouge Trail, along with the ITC Corridor Trail, currently interconnects Canton’s Heritage Park with the Michigan Department of Transportation’s I-275 Metro Trail (a regional trail system offering approximately six miles of non-motorized pathways in Canton). The trailhead for the Lower Rouge Trail is located off of Morton-Taylor Road, north of Michigan Avenue. Combined, all of these trails in Canton offer over 10 miles of non-motorized pathways that are open year-round.
“We are truly grateful to receive this significant grant for Canton’s trails, which continue to be a popular attraction in our community for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts,” said Greg Hohenberger, Director of Canton Leisure Services. "These funds, which honor the legacy of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., will assist in expanding connectivity within the Greater Southeast Michigan trail system.”
Future expansion of the Lower Rouge Trail will include the development of approximately one mile of trails from I-275 east to Hannan Road, which will consist of the future installation of fabricated pedestrian bridges and HAWK signals.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation was established by founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Upon Wilson’s passing in 2014, he requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation which bears his name. The Foundation has a grant-making capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. This project is consistent with Wilson’s wish for immediate impact and innovation, and his desire that the trustees see the impact of the investment in their lifetimes. For additional information on the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, please visit http://www.ralphcwilsonjrfoundation.org
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development, and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed nearly $902 million through more than 60,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information about the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, please visit www.cfsem.org.
For more information about the Lower Rouge Trail, visit www.cantonfun.org or call 734/394-5310