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Henrietta Environmental Action Team - HEAT
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Stopping low density urban sprawl, protecting the natural environment and saving wet lands from uncontrolled development
 The Rails To Trails Initiative

  Since 1986, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy of Michigan (RTC) has led the way in converting the state's abandoned railroad corridors to trails. RTC was formed with the goal of creating the Discover Michigan Trail, a conceptual plan that would convert a continuous link of abandoned rail lines and connecting corridors to trails in every region of Michigan. To achieve this goal, the Michigan office of RTC works to educate, advocate locally, provide technical assistance, support state and local legislation and establish policy and planning regarding rail-trails.

  In the past 10 years, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy helped produce an inventory and vision for a connected trails and greenways network in the seven counties of southeast Michigan. This work led to the creation of an $18 million private fund to leverage public grant programs. RTC has provided information and lessons learned from this successful program to two other emerging regional systems, one in the Saginaw Bay area and one in west Michigan. In addition, RTC has hosted two statewide conferences and played a major role in a Northern Trail summit. The organization has created a full-color statewide map and directory and provided technical assistance to at least 20 individual trail projects over the past five years. RTC also created awareness of Michigan's trails and greenways with presentations to various statewide and national conferences, as well as discussions with tourism officials.

  "As development intensifies and rapidly encroaches into the rural areas of our state, it is important to conserve linear path opportunities that help build a green infrastructure for our citizens. This will provide recreation, conservation, non-motorized transportation and improved quality of life," said Nancy Krupiarz, Rails-to-Trails State Director. "The health of our citizens depends on designing communities to make bicycle and pedestrian mobility an easily accessible and attractive choice."

  The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publishes three six-page newsletters a year on Michigan trail activities, targeted towards RTC members and trail users. This audience also receives the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy full-color magazine, which is published quarterly. Trail builders, friends groups, and state and local agency personnel receive a bi-monthly technical report which provides an update on the latest trail-building issues. (From the Rails-To-Trails Site)

  Interested individuals can join Rails-to-Trails by visiting the site or filling out the membership form in any of their publications. Membership is $18 per individual or $25 per family per year.

  For additional information about the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy of Michigan, contact Nancy Krupiarz, State Director, at (517) 485-6022 or by e-mail to or visit the RTC Michigan site.

  Further statwide trail development information and status is available on the Michigan DNR "Networking Michigan With Trailways" website

 Rails-To-Trails In Henrietta Township

  Henrietta Township hosts an abandoned railroad right-of-way currently owned by the State of Michigan. The Right-Of-Way enters the Township parallel to Jordan Road after crossing the Portage River then heads straight to Munith, going past the old Henrietta Station on Coon Hill Road. It exits the Township just past Munith entering Waterloo Township. Cleaning up and repairing this Right-Of-Way would make an excellent project for environmentally conscious residents of the Township and contribute a significant segment to the overall Rails-To-Trails effort in Jackson County.

  Local residents who have an interest in biking and/or just walking this right of way trail are going to be getting together soon to start cleaning up and brushing out this segment through Henrietta Township. If you are interested, please fill out the contact form on this site and state your interest in helping in this effort.


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