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Project Goal: to provide greater public access to a rustic but accessible trail opportunity for the 15,600 residents of Washtenaw county with physical disabilities, as well as improve conditions for the thousands of school children and growing number of seniors in our population.
A project was launched in 2005 to analyze and improve trail accessibility in the areas closest to the main MBG building. Surface conditions, slope, cross-slope, trail width and resting areas were documented for the existing Red Trail and the section of the Green trail that encircles Willow Pond. Using recommendations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and factoring in the site conditions and natural features along the trails, recommendations were developed according to Roaded Natural settings as outlined by the US Forest Service. The project was based on input from U-M Office of Institutional Equity, wheelchair users, docents, staff, environmental engineers, researchers, and visitors.
Improved surfaces include 3,341 linear feet of the Red Trail, home of the Sam Graham Trees Trail, and 360 linear feet around the north side of the Green Trail that encircles Willow Pond, now renamed the Sue Reichert Discovery Trail. The first 7/10 of a mile of surface improvements were complete in 2006. The remaining 3/10 of a mile was completed in 2007.