This fall, as the weather cools off and the leaves begin to change color, the Metroparks Natural Resources Department is staying busy with multiple project. We are continuing to remove invasive species from high-quality habitats, in preparation for our work next year. We are also beginning to treat Phragmites, the giant invasive reed, as this plant species begins to move its energy out of the roots and into its seed head, making the roots easier to kill.
The Huron-Clinton Metroparks is excited to announce that the Shelden Trail Development Project at Stony Creek Metropark is now underway. The Metroparks will immediately begin the process to extend and develop the popular trail system to create a premier, natural surface, multi-use trail system.
“The Shelden Trails Development Project was initiated in response to the public input we received during the master planning process for Stony Creek Metropark in 2016,” said Nina Kelly, Chief of Planning and Development at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “A wide variety of visitors have interest in this area of the park, including mountain bikers, trail runners, cross country skiers, nature observers and local historians.”
The Shelden Trails run through the serene, historic western segment of the park that was once part of an extensive summer estate owned by the Shelden family and gifted to Stony Creek Metropark by Elizabeth Shelden in 1981 for public recreation and developed mainly from old roads, footpaths, and trails. All users of these trails would like to see dedicated trails expanded and protected from user conflicts. In addition, the Shelden trails are in a designated biodiversity area, so care will be taken to realign the trails to protect sensitive natural areas.
The Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation stepped up to support the project, locate funding and build partnerships with user groups. Phase One of the project, Planning and Design, began in early 2018 with the solicitation of funding. In conjunction with other grant funds and major gifts, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation was awarded $35,000 from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Design and Access at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
“We are thankful for this extraordinary gift to initiate the project and the excitement it has generated among our park patrons,” said Julie Hein, Chief of Foundation Services. “With the design now underway, the Metroparks Foundation is shifting its focus to raising build funds so that construction and redevelopment of the trails can begin in the spring.”
As the Huron-Clinton Metroparks moves through the Shelden Trail Development Project planning stages, user groups and residents will be invited to participate in public meetings to voice ideas and input for the new design. To learn more or become involved with the Shelden Trails Development Project, please visit www.metroparks.com/sheldentrails.
Established, in 2003, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide critical support to sustain the Huron-Clinton Metroparks for the enrichment of people and the environment of southeast Michigan. The Metroparks Foundation goals are to support projects at each one of the Metroparks, with a focus on specific projects as identified through each park’s master plan, educational programs, and public events. For more information, please visit www.metroparks.com/foundation.
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs in the seven counties of southeast Michigan. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan honor Mr. Wilson’s charitable legacy by supporting efforts across the region in caregiving, design & access, and youth sports, as well as for community assets in Mr. Wilson’s home community of Grosse Pointe. For more information, please visit www.cfsem.org.