Conner Creek Greenway extension adds two miles of pedestrian trails

The Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative (DECC) will celebrate the opening of more than two miles of pedestrian and bike trails opened to the public via the Conner Creek Greenway Initiative with an Arbor Day tree planting and parade on April 29 in Maheras Gentry Park on the Detroit River.

The event kicks off with a Greening of Detroit-directed tree planting sponsored by DTE Energy and planted by company volunteers at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m., led by a procession of 120 students from the Detroit Merit Academy -- and their wildlife puppets -- made along with the Mosaic Youth Theatre as part of the company's preparations for its upcoming performance of new production "Marshland Security." U.S. Congressman Hansen Clarke and Mayor Bing are among the rumored guests.

The Conner Creek Greenway is part of more than 23 miles of connected paths in Detroit created by the City of Detroit with the support of the The Conner Creek Greenway provides residents of Detroit's eastside with a way to connect neighborhoods and create walkable, bikeable access to the Detroit River.

"It's kind of the neighborhood version of the Detroit River Walk or the Dequindre Cut," says project manager Elizabeth Pachota of the Conner Creek Greenway. "The plan for the Conner Creek Gateway is to create a nine-mile pathway extend all the way from Eight Mile Road to the Detroit River, generally along Conner Avenue. It's built on a creekbed, what used to be an open creekbed."

So far, four and a half miles of the project have been built since 2006, and Pachota says pedestrian use has increased since the grassroots paths have been installed.

Ultimately, the goal of the Conner Creek Greenway is for a student from a school like Osborn High School to be able to meet his or her friends at the Lipke Recreation Center, stop at the Warren Conner Shopping District and then continue on to a family picnic at the river -- all by greenway. Although, Pachota, recommends, they'd better bring a bike for that trip.

Source: Elizabeth Pachota, Project Manager, DECC
Writer: Ashley C. Woods
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