Safe Routes To School on their way in East Bay
Five schools and their 4,000+ students are within a mile of the Hammond and 3-mile intersection. Also nearby is a growing number of everyday services to visit. There’s Centre Ice, East bay public library and Township Hall, Oleson’s Grocery, and a taqueria! We dare to dream with you about a day when this is a little village connected by trails, sidewalks, and multiple safe crosswalks.
The latest good news is that Norte was awarded a mini-grant by the Michigan Department of Transportation to work with East Middle School, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, Cherry Knoll, Grand Traverse Academy on education and encouragement programs. The 20/21 school year may offer some interesting challenges, but we remain committed.
Also, Norte is officially partnered with the East Bay Township, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, and TART Trails to transform the Three Mile and Hammond area into a more walkable and bike-able place for all. The dream is an extension of the three-mile multi-use trail, safe crossings of Three-mile and Hammond, and connector trails to and from the schools. The plan is looking brighter every day and we are thrilled to be working with this excellent partners!
One major goal towards this end is to extend to 3-mile multi-use trail that currently ends at South Airport and connect it to all of these proud destinations.
There is good news. Although plenty of work lies ahead, the purchase of the future Mitchell Creek Meadow Preserve by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy is a trailblazer. We can now see a path for four schools and 4,000 students and their families to be connected to a growing network of safe routes. Congratulations are certainly in order for the Safe Routes to School and 3-mile champions.
Along with the trail extension, Norte is working with regional partners to put in place a successful Safe Routes to School project. The Grand Traverse Academy, Cherry Knoll Elementary, Traverse City East Middle, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle, and Seventh day Adventist (@ 4 mile) schools are all working together to make this a reality. We also stand with you all to advocate for safer streets throughout the township.
We’ve come a long way from those terrifying early morning rides to East Middle School and Grand Traverse Academy with members of our youth leadership council. Since then, we have had three successful resolutions of support by different East Bay boards in the summer and three excellent walk audits at Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools’ SEAS, EMS and Cherry Knoll Elementary. We also introduced the systems work we’ve been part of at Happy, Healthy, Ready-to-Learn: A Systems Practice Report + Community Conversation at the Library.
*2/28/20 UPDATE: In partnership East Middle School, Grand Traverse Academy, St. Ann Elizabeth School, and Cherry Knoll Elementary, we’re applying for a Safe Routes To School grant to deliver educational and encouragement programs with the four schools as well as raise awareness and community support for extending the 3 Mile trail.*
If you support a safer, healthier, happier and better connected East Bay Township that will not only benefit students but township residents, business owners, and visitors alike, please add your name below to stay engaged with all the great things coming to Easy Bay.