The dedicated volunteer Trail Crew has long had a need for a storage facility along the trail. Currently, the Friends have several spread out, inconvenient, and costly storage sites, none of which are ideal for storage of motorized grooming equipment.

Example photo of the type of storage building we plan to purchase. The dimensions of ours will be 16’x32′.

Often, the Friends rely on volunteers to bring their own tools, which limits the ability to even get routine maintenance activities accomplished in a timely and efficient manner. The impact of this situation over the years has resulted in much wasted time, limited options, volunteer frustration, and expensive contracting of jobs which the Friends could otherwise handle.

“…an immediate as well as ongoing cost savings.”

“Having a safe, convenient, trail-side, centralized storage will allow us to expand our inventory of trail care equipment, instead of relying on volunteers to bring their own,” commented Charlie Gregory, Trail Care Coordinator. “Having a mower, blower, and tool chest along the trail will give us a far greater ability to perform regular clean-up and improvement projects for which we currently must contract – it’ll be an immediate as well as ongoing cost savings.”

“Game-changer” for Joy2Ride!

In addition to the tremendous benefits to our Trail Crew, this dedicated storage will also become home to the ‘bikes’ used by the wonderful non-profit, Joy2Ride Benzie. The popular Joy2Ride program allows individuals who are physically unable to pedal or ride a bike, the opportunity to enjoy the trail by using a specially designed wheelchair bike and volunteer ‘pilots’.

“Having a home for our equipment and supplies adjacent to the trail is a game-changer for Joy2Ride!,” exclaimed Carol Kraak, the program’s director. “This will make staging so much more accessible for our riders and we could not be more excited about this project! I hope people will step-up and donate to help make this facility a reality.”

>>>> Please donate here! <<<<

Plans and Location are Set

Recently, Fred Stransky (Project Mgr.), Jed Maker (Friends Pres.), Doug Barry (DNR), and Carol Kraak met to decide on a location for the new storage facility. After ruling out one proposed location, the group was unanimous in their choice of a spot at the River Road parking and trailhead site. (See the plat illustration below by landscape architects Johnson Hill.)  This location will provide good access to parking needed for Joy2Ride staging, the site prep will be fairly simple, and it’s centrally located between Beulah and Frankfort, the most heavily used portion of the trail.

View of planned location for new storage facility

The illustration above indicates the planned location of the new storage facility at the River Road trailhead. Click on the image to view a larger version.

“We decided on a prefabricated building that’s 16’x32′,” commented Stransky. “It should provide the Trail Crew volunteers and Joy2Ride the room needed. The total cost, including site prep and electrical work is expected to be approximately $20,000.”

We’re on Our Way to Our Goal Thanks to Seabury Grant

A few months ago, Friends President, Jed Maker wrote a grant request to the Seabury Foundation, describing the many expected benefits the project will yield. Fortunately, we requested — and have already received — a grant of $7,500 by the Chicago-based foundation. Many thanks to the Seabury Foundation!

NEWSFLASH! We’re Winners of a Grant from Mountain Dew!

Now we’re even closer to our goal! The Friends are one of forty nonprofits to win a $5,000 grant through the MTN DEW Outdoor Grants program! The Friends received the award because of our ongoing commitment to the outdoor experience. Thank you to the folks at Mountain Dew!

Happily receiving the Mountain Dew award check from left to right: Charlie Gregory, Trail Care Coordinator and Friends Board Member, Doug Barry of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Fred Stransky manager of the storage facility project and Friends Board Member.

Please Help Us to Reach Our $12,500 $7,500 Goal!

Today, we are calling on all our trail supporters to step-up and help us to raise the full amount we need to build this much-needed storage facility!

Whether you’re a casual or devoted user, or a local business – please help make this important community asset more beautiful and accessible for all!

>>>> Please donate here! <<<<