To the Journal editor:
A Deerton resident claimed that personal finances should override community pride in his negative opinion of trail systems. Get out and use the trail system and see just what community pride can do.
He would see a prideful Ishpeming dad teaching his four-year-old daughter how to ride a bike without fear of auto traffic. He told me his daughter was able to ride the length of the trail between Ishpeming and Negaunee in her first outing; Or the 10-year-old girl at 16 Mile Lake in west Ishpeming proudly showing off a painted turtle by the handicapped accessible fishing deck.
Community members have spent valuable time creating a trail system their community can be proud off. One doctor has funded out of his own pocket cross country trail grooming for the past five years.
The Negaunee Lions club has funded and spent hundreds of hours creating a handicap accessible walkway around one of the first open iron pits in the UP and reconstructed a log cabin from one of the first homesteaders.
I'm sure each community along the trail has done the same to improve recreation for themselves, children and visitors. It's what makes a community.
To date over a dozen interpretive signs highlighting our heritage are along the trail. I have photos showing the smiles of kids out on field trips along the trail. Each smile is worth more than the $15 I pay for the trail.
I read of the story of the 80-plus lady from Ishpeming who lost 40 pounds walking the trail daily. We're one of the obese nations. To lose weight you need to walk/bike 30 minutes a day. No better way than getting some neighbors to walk or bike along the trail.
From an economic standpoint, I think the $9,000 raised would be matched by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources trust fund grant of $245,000. That's a multiple of 25 time's initial investment. Oh, trail maintenancewhen last year's wind storms knocked down dozens of large trees across the trail, volunteers cleared it.
I wish to thank every resident who chose to support the trail system in spite of the fact that they themselves might not use it; and the communities along the trail who put aside their parochial views for the good of all. It's one more reason why Marquette County stands out as one of the most livable communities