Living in a County that is located on a great lake and not being able to observe the fauna and wildlife, nor fish in its waters.
Imagine living in a County that is steep in historical significance to the State and region that it is located, yet not having the opportunity to visit the historical sites enjoyed by thousands of other visitors.
Imagine living in a County where very few parks and playgrounds are not available to you because you cannot access them.
If you can imagine that, then you understand the plight of approximately 16% of the Monroe County population that has a disability limiting their full participation in the recreational opportunities within the county.
In the fall of 2006 the Community Foundation of Monroe County was awarded a $385,000 matching grant funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the Midwest Community Foundations’ Ventures (MCFV). This grant was one of five awarded to community foundations around the State.
Through a broad based community needs workgroup, four recreational projects were selected:
•The Department of Natural Resources will enhance a 5,700 linear feet-walking path that will run from the Sterling State Park to the River Raisin Battlefield. Enhancements to this project include the construction of two barrier free viewing/fishing piers as well as the placement of interpretative audio and visual signs.
•Monroe Charter Township will purchase handicapped accessible playground equipment for two playgrounds for its new 30-acre park.
•Partnering with the City of Monroe a Sensory Garden will be built. Tentatively the garden will be located in Munson Park and will incorporate a Texture Garden, Music Room, Color Garden, Motion Room, Tactile Room, Scented Garden and a pond.
•Interpretive historical and cultural stations will be added to the Navarre-Anderson Trading Post, making the grounds more accessible and better utilized for all people.
In addition an Access to Recreation Advisory Council (ATRAC) has been formed to serve as a permanent advisory group to the Community Foundation of Monroe County. The purpose of ATRAC is threefold: to serve as an advisory workgroup to the projects under this grant; to provide on-going consultation to the Community Foundation in the permanent Access to Recreation Endowment program: to serve as an advocate for universal accessibility in recreational planning throughout the County.
A permanent Access to Recreation Endowment Fund is being established at the Community Foundation of Monroe County. The income from the endowment will provide ongoing support for these and future accessibility projects in Monroe County.
For further information on the Access to Recreation grant, or to give to any of the projects outlined above or to the permanent endowment fund, please contact the Community Foundation of Monroe County at (734) 242-1976.