The $ 2.5 million anonymous donor commitment is the biggest boost to the Ann Arbor Treeline Project yet

ANN ARBOR, MI – Ann Arbor’s Treeline Urban Trail project has just received its biggest push to date.

An anonymous donor has pledged $ 2.5 million in the form of a “challenge gift” to pave the way for pedestrians and cyclists to explore the city, the nonprofit Treeline Conservancy announced on Friday April 2nd.

The donor will host a dollar-for-dollar match for all donations made to the Treeline through December 31, 2023, up to $ 2.5 million.

“This challenge game drives Treeline forward like no other gift has,” said Norman Herbert, co-chair of the Treeline Conservancy Board, in a statement.

“With this level of support – and the encouragement of others to begin or increase their support – we can plan the construction of the first key segments of the Treeline Trail.”

There are only a handful of segments to date, but in the coming years the nearly three-mile (three-mile) path from the Argo Pond area along the Huron River via North Main Street through the west side of downtown, past the University’s sports campus of Michigan and South State Street.

The Treeline Conservancy is working with the city on the project and officials are currently developing a detailed plan for the northern segment that crosses North Main Street.

Q&A: Treeline Director explains what is emerging for Ann Arbor’s Urban Trail initiative

According to the preservation company, the anonymous donor, who is raising $ 2.5 million, provided this explanation for the promise of the right challenge: “The tree line is a project that can change Ann Arbor in a holistic way. We want it to succeed – and that will require more than a handful of contributors. A project that so many people benefit from and that deserves a broad base of support. With this challenge, we intend to encourage many others to make the tree line a reality. “

Nan Plummer, Executive Director of Treeline Conservancy, called it “a great vote of confidence” for the project.

Anyone interested in making a donation of any amount can do so through the Treeline Conservancy website, mail a check to The Treeline Conservancy, 535 W. William St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103, or Plummer at 734-224-4166 call.

The proposed non-motorized trail, which generally runs along the historic alignment of Ann Arbor’s now-buried Allen Creek, was considered more than 20 years ago by local contractor Joe O’Neal and friends, according to the Treeline Conservancy.

The city has estimated that it will take tens of millions of dollars to complete it, and the nonprofit conservation company is working to raise private donations to make it happen.

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