Boyne’s Avalanche park getting hiking trail, picnic area, more

avalanche preserve

BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR

Up to $35,000 in grant moneys could be used to fund a 450-foot hiking trail and other improvements in Boyne City’s Avalanche Preserve recreation area.

Boyne City Harbormaster and Executive Assistant Barb Brooks briefed the Boyne City Commission with a proposal to apply the won grant moneys during the commission’s regular Tuesday Sept. 27 meeting.

“It originates from a proposal from the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (MParks)—they received some funds through the state to do some studies regarding recreation and how that associates with better health,” she said. “They contacted Boyne City and asked if we would like to participate.”

The city ultimately participated in two different programs, one with senior citizens and one for youth.

The other part of the grant was to pick some type of enhancement project, and the city agreed it would do something in relation to Avalanche Preserve.

One of the items discussed was a trail somewhere between the 1910 building and Division Street area and Avalanche Preserve.

The 450-foot-long trail would be six feet wide and made of gravel. It was noted, however, that the trail could be 30 to 50 feet longer due to changes which may need to be made during construction.

“We’re not making any major changes to the topography there,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain. “There are some hills involved. So, if a senior has problems with climbing … and things of that nature, that could be a challenge for them, too.”

The grants are broken down into $10,000 which was available for reimbursement of program costs and staff time for the first phase of the project, which included the senior citizen and youth recreational study programs.

The second part of the grant opportunity provides up to $25,000 to make improvements to a “specified park where various physical activity takes place.”

No local match is required, so this project will be completely funded by the grant moneys.

Any money leftover from the grant could be used for other improvements to Avalanche Preserve, which were identified by the Boyne City Parks and Recreation Board.

Potential other improvements could include welcome, way-finding, and trail signage, a picnic area with tables, benches and landscaping, a shade structure and trash barrels.

Bids for the trail were requested in September, and four companies responded.

The low bid came in from Dirt Artisans, a company also doing work on the Avalanche Preserve mountain biking trail system, at a cost of $8,280.

The other bids came in at $8,992, $11,300, and $19,600.

Boyne City Commissioners voted unanimously, 4-0, to award the job to Dirt Artisans.

Boyne City Commissioner Ron Grunch was absent from the meeting.

The commission also voted to allow city staff to spend the remainder of the grant moneys on the additional improvement projects.