The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Board recently announced seven second-round grant awards totaling $285,000 to support the northern Ottawa County community, including a $125,000 to the Ottawa County Parks Foundation for its Grand River Explorers Trail/Stearns Bayou Connector.
The county hopes to expand recreational opportunities and increase access to nature to create a healthier and more economically vibrant community, and the 26-mile Grand River Explorers Trail, which will connect Grand Rapids with the Lakeshore, is one part of that goal.
“This very generous gift from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation provides a real boost to our Grand River Greenway Campaign,” said Tom Werkman, president of the parks foundation. “In particular, this major grant will help ensure that the Grand Haven area is connected to our beautiful Grand River Greenway parks and the M-231 Grand River Bridge trail.”
The grant from the community foundation will fund a trail on the 2.4-mile gap between Connor Bayou and the Grand Haven Township Mercury Drive pathway as part of the growing regional trail system around the Grand River. A pedestrian crossing over the bayou will also be included in the funding. Plans are already in place to connect Connor Bayou, Riverside County Park and the M-231 Grand River Bridge in Robinson Township.