Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Rolling out the New Betsie...
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Rolling out the New Betsie Valley Trail: Region‘s Newest Bike Trail will Connect to Michigan Network

Danielle Horvath - June 10th, 2004
Someday, the Betsie Valley Trail will connect to the Michigan Trailway System which is proposed to stretch over 1,000 miles across the state, creating a web of recreational trails that stretch from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan and from the south state line across the U.P.
A major section of the trail from Elberta to Beulah was paved last fall. When it is completed, the 22-mile piece in Benzie County will connect Thompsonville, Benzonia, Beulah, Frankfort and Elberta. Constructed on the former Ann Arbor Railroad Corridor, it passes around Betsie Bay, crosses through forests and parallels the Betsie River and Crystal Lake.
The project is a partnership project of Benzie County and the Department of Natural Resources. In 1993, the “Friends of Betsie Valley Trail” non-profit, volunteer group formed to encourage the development and operation of a recreational trail in Benzie County. They have been instrumental in generating support for the trail and in raising funds to build it. Other community groups, businesses and individuals have supported the project, from the Benzie Audubon Club, who erected a bird watching platform along the trail in Elberta, to families participating in the Adopt-A-Trail program which takes care of segments along the route.

ON A ROLL
Because of a lengthy court case, it took 10 years from the first meeting to the first pavement, laid in November 2000, to get the trail underway. The asphalt now extends seven miles from Elberta to Mollineaux Road west of Beulah, and then is gravel the next three miles along the segment in front of private homes east of Railroad Point along Crystal Lake. The court settlement case involving property owners along Crystal Lake requires a semi-soft material on the 2.5-mile stretch of the trail along the lake.
The next phase of the trail is the proposed 12-1/2 mile stretch that will connect Beulah to Thompsonville. Plans for trailheads in both Beulah and Thompsonville are underway. The proposed Beulah Trailhead and Visitors Center with bike racks, bathrooms, and parking space, would be located near the old railroad depot, behind the businesses in downtown Beulah. An MDOT grant request is pending and DNR lease agreement is being considered.
“It seems like such a simple concept; after all it’s just a trail, said Sean DuPerron, Betsie Valley Trailway manager, who works under the MSU Extension Office in Benzie County. “But it’s so much more than that. Trail management involves organizing and managing resources, being aware of requirements, keeping the public involved and informed, and much more.”

GET INVOLVED
DuPerron sees the trail as an integral part of the community, with a multitude of uses besides the many bikers, hikers, roller bladers and snowmobilers who use it. “It’s can be used to teach school groups about the local history of the area, particularly the railroads; it can be a tool for master gardeners to share knowledge about the flora and fauna of the area; it’s a chance to see the land from a unique and different perspective,” he explained.
Volunteers are always needed and much appreciated for tasks ranging from folding trail maps to clearing brush and promoting the trail through photography. Anyone interested may contact 231-882-9605 or email: betsievalleytrl@benzie.com.






 
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