Local nonprofit wins grants to improve Highland Park's biking and pedestrian infrastructure

The Detroit Greenways Coalition (DGC) is getting a boost.

The non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of non-motorized transportation and recreation in and around Detroit has received a $5,000 grant from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's 2017 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund. The money is to be used to support the development of the Inner Circle Greenway throughout the city of Highland Park.

Detroit Greenways Coalition's Inner Circle Greenway is the largest urban trail project in the state. The 26-mile series of bike lanes and greenways will connect the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and Dearborn. A 1.4 mile-long abandoned rail corridor runs through Highland Park, and this money could be used to help transform it and further develop the Inner Circle Greenway.

Non-motorized transit map from Detroit Greenways Coalition

In December 2016, Model D asked DGC executive director Todd Scott what he'd like to see happen with green infrastructure in the region. He said then that with an abundance of vacant parcels, abandoned rail corridors, and extra wide roads, cities like Detroit and Highland Park have an opportunity to take advantage of such under-utilized spaces.

"We can use these to create safe and convenient non-motorized transportation options and green infrastructure in a way that most other cities can't. It's an exciting opportunity to build a better city," he said.

The local non-profit is one of six nationally to receive a grant from the 2017 Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund. Others include projects in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska.

This is the second grant Detroit Greenways Coalition has recently received, both of which are to be administered in the city of Highland Park. The non-profit also received a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Design and Access. That money will used to develop bike lanes along the length of Hamilton Avenue as it runs through Highland Park.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.