The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail is a 34 mile multi-use trail extending from Niles, MI to Mishawaka, IN (and someday beyond). As with all bicycle/pedestrian transportation projects, it is a favorite project of nearly all regional residents, but a favorite scapegoat of many transportation skeptics: as such it needs a big cash infusion to reach fruition.
This project has been recently blessed by a possible infusion of the much needed cash. The beneficiary of this cash is Niles Township: from the City of Niles, to the Indiana/Michigan State Line the township recently announced nearly $300,000 of funding.
- $5,000 The Plym Foundation has committed $5,000
- $286,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) via the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). This is pending legislative approval and appropriation.
Mr. Harry Thibault, Niles Township Park Commission Chairman, said he’s already received local foundation and private commitments totaling around $41,000. Thibault, and the park commission, hope to raise another $100,000 to cover the $141,000 committed by the township toward the project. Thibault also emphasized that “after we raise funds for this portion, we will need up to $178,000 for Phase II to connect with the Niles city trail and finish the Michigan portion of the IN-MI River Valley Trail.”
Niles Township officials and citizens seem pretty excited about all this local attention. To leverage this excitement in extending the trail, the Niles Charter Township has opened a fundraising account. Anyone is invited to make a tax deductible donation by writing a check to
- IN-MI River Valley Trail Project and mailing it to Niles Charter Township, 320 Bell Road, Niles, MI 49120.
- You can also make an online secure contribution through this web site by clicking on the BMC donation link Near the end of the donation conversation you will be asked for special instructions. Say you are contributing to the Niles Township fund. The Bike Michiana Coalition has already contributed $2,500 to the IN-MI Trail, and plans more funding in the future.
Many trail advocates have set 2018 as a goal for completion of the trail.
You can view IN-MI Trail Proposals in a larger interactive map. And you can get more details from the Niles Daily Star: