Free Event Fetes Dragon’s Growth
Re-Scheduled event at Brower Park introduces new trail portion and celebrates already finished mileage
Stanwood, MI: Consumers Energy is hosting a family fun event on Friday, October 8, from 2:30 - 6 pm, at Mecosta County’s Brower Park to celebrate the Consumers Energy Foundation’s recent $200,000 grant and other partnerships bringing Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam (Dragon Trail) to life. The event was originally scheduled for August, but regional storms forced the schedule change. The Dragon Trail, when complete, will be an estimated 47-mile non motorized, multi-use trail forming a loop around the Hardy Pond Reservoir.
“Each step along the journey to complete this epic recreational trail is worthy of celebration,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We’re hoping for a huge public turnout Friday which we promise to make fun for all including dedicated mountain bikers who want to check out excellent riding opportunities the trail already offers and for families looking for fun activities outdoors in beautiful northern Michigan.”
This free event, which is open to the public, will feature food and refreshments, kids’ activities, and more, all complements of Consumers Energy. There will be a brief welcome ceremony at 2:30 pm. Brower Park is located at 23056 Polk Road, in Stanwood.
Plans for the Dragon Trail have been ongoing for more than a decade, and ground was broken on the trail in fall 2019. The project is estimated to cost around $3.7 million in total, and Consumers Energy Foundation has helped to commit to this work by providing a $200,000 grant for trail construction. By the end of 2020, a total of 14.6 miles had been completed, and 2021 construction is well underway. An additional 4.5 miles have been completed so far this year, which another estimated five miles still to come.
“Visitors are already enjoying the new mileage opened up starting at Brower Park,” said fundraiser Jodi Albaitis. “We have a long way to go in fundraising and construction, and it’s critical we keep up the momentum. We’re grateful for partners like Consumers Energy to help us make progress and open up new segments for bikers, hikers, runners, and more.”
Of the 11 total segments planned on the Dragon Trail, completed portions are segments eight through eleven, from Big Bend Township Park to across Hardy Dam. Segments two and four have portions of trail open. 2021 construction starts at the north end of segment four and continues through segments five and six, in Mecosta County around the northeast portion of Hardy Pond. More information about the status of open and upcoming segments can be found at thedragon.us.
To learn how you can help build or maintain the Dragon, or make a gift, visit https://www.thedragon.us/support-the-dragon-trail/donate/.
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