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A press release from SEMCOG (Southeast Michigan Council of Governments) about the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail award:

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail project in Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County is the recipient of SEMCOG’s Regional Showcase Award. The award will be presented to Washtenaw County Commission Vice Chair Michelle Deatrick and Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran at SEMCOG’s General Assembly on Thursday, March 22, 2018, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Macomb Community College, Center Campus, Lorenzo Cultural Center (44575 Garfield Rd., Clinton Township, MI 48038).

The Regional Showcase Award was established to highlight projects that implement the strategies and recommendations in SEMCOG’s regional plans adopted by its member communities.

“We are thrilled to award Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County with the Regional Showcase Award. The award showcases projects that implement our vision of a connected, thriving region of small towns; dynamic urban centers; active waterfronts; diverse neighborhoods; agricultural land; and parks, trails, and natural areas,” said Kathleen Lomako SEMCOG Executive Director.

The award recognizes a two-mile, hike-and-bike trail connecting the Iron Belle Trail and Border-to-Border Trail to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor Township and Washtenaw County. Opened in October 2017, the trail provides direct connections and biking and walking access to and from the Botanical Gardens for multiple regional destinations including parks and recreation facilities, educational institutions, and employment and heath care opportunities. The trail addresses a significant safety concern that existed along Dixboro Road, which is a busy county artery with narrow shoulders inadequate for biking or walking.

“This trail is the result of a multi-year collaboration with the University of Michigan and many other great partners,” noted Ann Arbor Township Supervisor Michael Moran. “We are grateful for the support on behalf of all who will use this trail.”

Added Washtenaw County Commission Vice Chair Michelle Deatrick, “We want to ensure that bikers and walkers are safe. This paved biking and walking path provides a safer route that parallels but avoids Dixboro Road, while enabling nonmotorized travel to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and a better connection to this very special natural area.”

Nearly $3 million in public and private funds were invested in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Trail from many partners – Ann Arbor Township, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Michigan Department of Transportation, SEMCOG, University of Michigan, and Washtenaw County.

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens promotes environmental enjoyment, stewardship, and sustainability through education, research, and interaction with the natural world. The gardens offer year-round exploration of 11 outdoor garden spaces and an indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The new trail allows the more than 135,000 annual visitors of the Botanical Gardens to leave their cars safely behind.

This is the second year of the Regional Showcase Award. The St. Clair County Riverfront Revival project in Port Huron and St. Clair County received the first award in 2017.


SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, is the only organization in Southeast Michigan 
that brings together all governments to solve regional challenges and enhance the quality of life f
or the seven-county region’s 4.7 million people. 
Learn more about what SEMCOG does.