Baraga County Awarded Grant from Portage Health Foundation Community Wellness and Outdoor Recreation Fund

Jim Vivian (Keweenaw Community Foundation), Wendy Goodreau (Baraga County), and Kevin Store (Portage Health Foundation)

$15,000 Awarded for Point Abbaye Park Improvement Phase 1

December 8, 2017

Hancock, Michigan – Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF) announced that $15,000 has been awarded from the Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Community Wellness and Outdoor Recreation Fund to Baraga County for phase one of their Point Abbaye Park improvement.

Point Abbaye Park is located in the northern most area of Baraga County on a peninsula that extends into Lake Superior in a north-easterly direction. Surrounded by pristine Lake Superior waters on three sides, with Keweenaw Bay on the western side of the peninsula and Huron Bay on the east, Point Abbaye Park is truly a unique natural area of quiet pristine for and waters. Baraga County owns a total of 260 acres at the tip of the peninsula. The views from Point Abbaye of Lake Superior are stunning, and the recreational other land includes the Copper Country State Forest, as well as a handful of private land owners. Although remote, the park is very accessible, allowing for a sense of exploration and enjoyment unmatched anywhere else in Baraga County.

One of the primary goals of the Point Abbaye Improvement Plan is to provide a quality park that improves visitor access and use, supports opportunities for active and passive recreation, and conserves and enhances significant environmental resources. This plan will create primitive camping sites, non-motorized trails (hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing), water access (paddle sports), day use area, way-finding signage/kiosk, parking areas, universal accessible restrooms, a universal accessible camping site and cut-off vehicle traffic to environmentally sensitive areas of the park. Point Abbaye is currently in a passive phase entering into Phase 1, which focuses on several of the identified needs. Phase 1 is to be funded in majority by the MDNR Recreation Passport Grant and is expected to begin in June 2018 and be completed by August 2018. The MDNR is a great financial partner granting $195,000 for the acquisition of the 260 acres with a MNRTF grant approved in 1980 and most recently awarding the County a $45,000 Recreation Passport Grant for Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 and beyond will include additional picnic areas, trails, kayak launces, primitive campsites and additional parking areas. In addition, an opportunity to develop an additional 8-10+ mile non-motorized trail on adjacent MDNR and private properties connecting to Point Abbaye to enhance opportunities for non-motorized users has been identified. Permissions and easements would be needed to complete a trail connecting through the MDNR land and adjacent private lands. Phase 2 and beyond will be funded with receipts from timber harvests on Baraga County owned lands and additional grant opportunities.

KCF welcomes partnerships in the Foundation and urges interested parties to share this information with their constituents and all sub-groups within their organization. Tax deductible contributions may be made to the PHF Community Wellness and Outdoor Recreation Fund (or to any of KCF’s 80+ other funds) online at www.keweenawgives.org. All contributions to a permanent endowment of KCF qualify for a Federal Tax Credit.

For more information on giving or grant opportunities, please visit the KCF website (www.keweenawgives.org) or email mail@k-c-f.org. To be placed on KCF’s request for proposals list, please email your contact information to mail@k-c-f.org. You will be notified when grants become available.

Contact: Hailey Hart (hailey@k-c-f.org) or Wendy Goodreau (goodreauw@baragacounty.org)

Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, Keweenaw Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. For more information on Keweenaw Community Foundation and how to give, visit its website at www.keweenawgives.org.