By Sue Moore
The Trailhead in Vicksburg was dedicated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, August 26 to honor Ken Schippers, Vicksburg’s former village manager. Henceforth it will be called “Schippers Lane.” Donors to the project which helped to pay for construction work that has taken place at the corner of S. Richardson and North Streets were listed in an additional plaque and commended by the speakers at the dedication ceremony.
The cost of the design work and construction was the result of a “Go Fund Me” campaign through the Michigan Department of Economic Development. Over $32,500 was donated locally and the state of Michigan matched that for a sum of $65,000 that it cost to purchase the property, demolish the car wash building on the site, build a parking area, a greeting arch, and landscaping the whole thing.
The trail head already connects to the existing 1.3 mile trail that parallels Sprinkle Road up to TU Avenue. In the village it is planned to continue along the north side of the railroad tracks to N. Main Street, cross to the north of Family Fare, run through Clark Park, through the mill property up to Angels Crossing golf course.
The trail extension has been a project of the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA) led by Kathleen Hoyle, executive director. The Vicksburg Vision campaign has been collecting donations to fund the trail project with matching dollars to what is hoped to be a Michigan Department of Transportation grant. The Vicksburg Foundation has offered up to $170,000 to match whatever is raised locally through the Vision campaign.
Enough money was raised in a second “Go Fund Me” campaign to construct Liberty Lane East, the second project of the Vision campaign. Hoyle expects to break ground in the alley between Jaspare’s and Aaron’s Music shop in September to spruce up this part of downtown Vicksburg.