Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
Executive Director- NTN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2021
Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the “NTN-Carp River Bridge” project in Marquette
$30,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
Photo courtesy of Nick Jensen
LANSING, Mich. – The Noquemanon Trails Network (NTN) will build a permanent bridge crossing Carp River for year-round, non-motorized trail use in Marquette through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Noquemanon Trails Network announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.
If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $30,000 by July 26, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit: patronicity.com/carpriverbridge.
“Expanding natural assets so that they can be enjoyed by the entire community is what great placemaking is all about. This project is another example of how Marquette continues to enhance the sense of place in its community and improve the quality of life for its residents and visitors,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “This bridge will further expand an already robust recreational resource, and we are pleased to support and provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
Year-round trail access to the entire lower Carp River Valley has long been a goal of the NTN and the completion of phases 1-4 of the Yellow Trail, also known as Zueg’s Trail, has significantly increased use on the south side of the river. For the last 30 years a seasonal bridge has helped trail users cross the Carp River near the base of Marquette Mountain. The narrow wooden bridge only a few feet above the fast-flowing river is intimidating to many, deterring some users from making the crossing.
The planned bridge will be wider and further from the water and feature guard rails, allowing trail users of all skill levels to confidently make the crossing. The project will also involve significant trail upgrades and reroutes on both sides of the Carp River and will improve access for other outdoor enthusiasts such as birders, anglers, and photographers.
“The Carp River Bridge Project will expand year-round access to beautiful terrain and non-motorized trails in South Marquette. This long dreamed-of project is possible because of the funding support of the MEDC Public Spaces Community Places grant program,” said Lori Hauswirth, Executive Director of NTN. “Not only does the grant provide needed funds, but the matching component helps encourage the public to donate.”
In 2017, a Public Spaces Community Places program crowdfunding campaign successfully raised $8,725 in support of Phase 2 of the project – several miles of new singletrack near Marquette Mountain – with $7,500 awarded in matching funds from MEDC.
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Building a permanent bridge over the Carp River as part of the Noquemanon Trails Network does both in ways that improve the experience for all living in and visiting Marquette. That is what community wealth building is about.”
The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of April 28, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 267 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $9.8 million raised from 47,364 individual donors.
About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.