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Au Sable Receives Grant to Improve Trail System

Jun 24, 2013

Au Sable has received a grant from the Great Lakes Energy People Fund to update the trail system that runs through the Institute's 120-acre campus. Staff will begin working on the trails in the next month to prepare them for late summer visitors to northwest lower Michigan and the beginning of the school year in fall.

Trail improvements include laying fresh wood chips to line heavily walked paths and repairing trail buffers to prevent trails from widening, causing erosion, or affecting neigboring animals and plants. Au Sable Environmental Education Coordinator, Paul Wiemerslage, will also be creating new signs to mark trail entrances for neighborhood visitors. These improvements are the first steps towards creating self-guided hiking trails through the Au Sable campus for the general public to learn about the natural features and ecosystems in northwest lower Michigan.

The Au Sable trail system meanders through pond, mixed-hardwood, and bog ecosystems. It also connects, by a short trail through State forest land, to the North Country Trail, one of the longest hiking trails in the United States, running 4,600 miles from New York State to North Dakota.

The Great Lakes Energy People Fund is a program run by Great Lakes Energy (GLE) , which "rounds up" member utility bills each month and directs the extra funds to non-profit and charitable organizations throughout its service area. Great Lakes Energy members interested in learning more about the program can visit GLE's program details webpage.