NEWS: Michigan Air Line Trail Grants Awarded


Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Gift Links Huron Valley, West Bloomfield and M-5 Metro Trails


Commerce Township, Michigan: The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester has been awarded a $2,200,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for the benefit of the Commerce, Walled Lake and Wixom Trailway Management (CW2) Council. This grant will be used for the design, engineering and construction for 7.7 miles of the Michigan Air Line Trail and provides essential funding needed to move the project forward.  The project has been broken into two phases.  Construction for Phase One from Wixom Road to Haggerty Road is anticipated to begin in 2019.  Design for Phase Two from Old Plank Road to Wixom Road is expected to begin in late 2018.


“In an age where people don't know their neighbors, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has accelerated bringing our three communities even closer together. With their generous participation to develop this pathway, promoting health, fitness, and safety through the creation of this linear park, which will memorialize for a lifetime the insight that Commerce Township, the Cities of Walled Lake and Wixom have always envisioned. We are so proud to receive these funds, and embrace the like-minded goals promoted by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation,” said Trail Council President David Scott.


“We’re excited this grant will help to advance and accelerate the collaboration between Wixom, Walled Lake, Commerce and Milford Township in the construction of the Michigan Air Line Trail,” said J.J. Tighe, Director of Parks & Trails Initiative of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “The trail, which fills a key gap in the Great Lake to Lake Trail, will connect people and these communities to one another and have a positive impact on health, recreation and economic development in the region.”


The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester is delighted it helped facilitate the grant for the Michigan Air Line Trail from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation,” said Executive Director Johanna Allen. “Both parties are a pleasure to work with.”


This grant funding is crucial to unlocking an additional $2.1 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation. The CW2 Council applied for TAP funding last year and received a conditional commitment, contingent on the Council obtaining additional funds to supplement the $1.4 million local match already committed by the Trail’s three communities.  The CW2 Council is working with the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester as its 501(c)(3) non-profit partner to administer the funds.


About The Michigan Air Line Trail: The Michigan Air Line will provide a much-needed connection between the West Bloomfield Trail to the east, the Huron Valley Trail to the west, as well as provide access to the M-5 & I-275 Metro Trails to the south.  A pedestrian bridge for the Trail over M-5 is currently under construction in Commerce Township.  Further information about the Trail can be found at


About the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester: The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester manages just under $10,000,000 in endowed and non-endowed funds. Its primary purpose, accepting, processing and managing donations and making grants from those donations in support of programs that serve the public. In addition, the Community Foundation manages funds for several non-profit organizations so the non-profits can focus on their core missions without getting overwhelmed by paperwork and reporting requirements. The Community Foundation is a Michigan non-profit corporation with an IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt designation.  It is a member of the Council of Michigan Foundations and certified to the Council of Foundation’s National Standards.