Blue Water River Walk Receives $2 Million Grant
Posted on September 6, 2012
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has been awarded a $2,000,000 grant for their Upper St. Clair River Habitat Restoration Project (aka “Blue Water River Walk”) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Program. Combined with an earlier $250,000 grant the Community Foundation received through U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Community Foundation should be able to restore almost one mile of St. Clair River Shoreline in Port Huron, Michigan.
The Blue Water River Walk project has been in the planning since 2010 and is an ambitious approach to naturalizing and restoring almost one mile of shoreline that had been an industrial wasteland for almost 100 years. The shoreline was gifted to the Community Foundation by noted philanthropist James C. Acheson in December of 2011.
In addition to the restoration and naturalization of the shoreline habitat, the Blue Water River Walk also seeks to emulate the economic impact of the Detroit River Walk by serving as a magnet for community and economic development. Other major components of the River Walk include;
- A multi-purpose pedestrian trail that will run the entire length of the shoreline. The Foundation recently completed a $200,000 fund raising campaign to help cover half the costs of the trail.
- Restoration and re-purposing of a historic railroad ferry dock that will re-open in 2013 as a beautiful viewing deck/patio extending out over the St. Clair River
- Construction of a fishing pier utilizing a restored and re-purposed railroad bridge to enhance public access for fishing and ship-watching on the river.
The Community Foundation is the largest grant making foundation in Michigan’s Thumb Region with over 150 endowment funds totaling more than $30,000,000 in total assets. The Foundation also owns Studio 1219 and a home for homeless youth.