As development continues along the Detroit riverfront, an educational and recreational hub at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge in Trenton got a hefty cash boost.
The Canadian rail operator CN announced Monday that they will contribute $200,000 to the public fishing pier and dock for the Michigan Sea Grant's Great Lakes school ship, which will host field trips for local school groups. The dock and pier are part of the $2.8 million Refuge Gateway project, which also includes designs for a visitor center.
The 44-acre Refuge Gateway and former brownfield industrial site will function as the gateway to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and alongside Humbug Marsh, home to an array of habitats and numerous species of fish, plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and dragonflies.
"Wayne County is proud to be a part of building North America’s only international wildlife refuge," said Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said in a statement. "World-class assets like the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge improve our quality of life and enhance our competitive advantage."
Project partners have raised $1.8 million for the Refuge Gateway project and hope to raise another million to start construction next year.
As the Refuge enhances learning and recreation opportunities (particularly for Detroiters who fish for walleye) and protects the natural shoreline, development continues along the Detroit River, which has seen steady changes in the last decade.
Recent projects include Link Detroit, a plan to improve biking and pedestrian pathways connecting the RiverWalk with downtown, Eastern Market, Midtown and Hamtramck. The $25 million project was awarded $10 million last month from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Construction on another project aimed at natural education will begin later this year. The Department of Natural Resources will build an adventure and discovery center at the historic Globe Building on Atwater Street, complete with archery range, rock-climbing wall, classrooms and interpretive forest.
And while some housing projects have stalled, two nonprofits building a housing development for senior citizens received a $6.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week. According to Crain's Detroit Business, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan and United Methodist Retirement Communities Inc. will begin construction on the building planned to hold 50 independent-living apartments for low-income seniors in Rivertown early next year. The nonprofits will complete their first stage of development, a $27.5 million, 80-unit assisted living building, later this year.
Below, see a gallery of recent development projects planned in the city.