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Four recreational projects receive a total of $79,500 in grants

June 23, 2020 | By Michael H. Babcock

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) is proud to announce $79,500 has been awarded to four organizations who responded to PHF’s Community Recreational Facilities and Resources request for proposals (RFP) that was released in January.

Churning Rapids“We were very impressed with the proposals this year,” said Kevin Store, Executive Director of PHF. “Our grants committee spent considerable time considering all the proposals and ultimately chose to fund projects that will expand recreational opportunities and provide healthy activities for residents and visitors alike.”

Grants were awarded to Calumet Township, Chassell Township, Houghton Township and Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club.

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club - Churning Rapids Single Track Rebuild - $20,000

The single-track portion of the Churning Rapids trail system includes an estimated 10 miles of mapped multi-use summer trail. These trails are most directly accessed by users via Christensen Road off of Highway M-203 in Hancock Township. This project will include a professional rebuild of the Lake Annie and Finni Creek Trails in partnership with Rock Solid Trail Contracting. Work will also be done by Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club volunteers to clear and rework the existing tread on the portion of the Great Oaks trail that connects Finni Creek to Lake Annie. The rebuilt trails will take care of erosion issues and offer a smoother surface for less experienced mountain bikers and kids, while still being fun for more advanced bikers and hikers.

Houghton Township - Exercise Facilities for All Park - $19,500

The Eagle River community in Keweenaw County will be supported with a new park following the theme of “Exercise Opportunities for All.” The grant will help create a two-acre park that can be used for walking, jogging, strolling or rolling. It will include an ADA-compliant entrance ramp, space for a variety of field sports, a pavilion with restrooms and drinking fountain, a picnic table area, and a dog run. In addition to this grant, a private donor is providing funds for the project.

Chassell Township - Sturgeon River Canoe/Kayak Launch - $20,000

Chassell Township seeks to help its residents and surrounding residents mitigate the risks associated with unhealthy, inactive lifestyles by developing and promoting the use of the Sturgeon River Trail by canoe and kayak, particularly from Otter Lake to this new US 41 access site. The funding will acquire an ADA accessible canoe/kayak launch dock and ramp connecting it to the shore on the old US 41 right-of-way on the northwest side of the US 41 bridge over the Sturgeon River.

Calumet Township - Recreational Park - $20,000

Following the township’s recreation plan, township officials are creating a four-season outdoor recreation area across from the Mine Street Station Shopping Center. The area will be for people of all ages, physical abilities and skill levels, while providing accessible recreational opportunities to provide users an area to exercise, play and socially interact. The programs initiated from this funding will be a chutes and ladders / fitness playground, a picnic area and a parking area. This is the initial phase of the project that will also include a tennis/pickle ball court, basketball area, outdoor hockey rink, walking path, bicycle rental area and a handicap accessible pavilion area.

All funded projects will be started and finished in 2020. Follow Portage Health Foundation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on each project throughout the summer, and visit for more information on the health-focused foundation.

Michael H. Babcock

Michael H. Babcock