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Marine City gets $50,000 grant for fishing pier, walkway 

Photo courtesy of michiganwatertrails.org The new Marine City pier will be located adjacent to the existing Accessible Canoe and Kayak launch along the Belle River near the foot of Robertson Street.

Pier will be on Belle River near Canoe and Kayak launch

By Barb Pert Templeton

It may seem a ways off yet, but by the spring of 2025 Marine City will have a new fishing pier and walkway installed and ready for the public’s use in its Marina District. 

The project, that will begin taking shape later this summer, is being made possible thanks to a pair of grants that recently came to the city. 

A $50,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and a second grant for $10,290 from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County will make the project possible.

The Legacy Fund included the awarding of six grants, totaling $275,000 for Design and Access and Marine City landed a $50,000 grant from that pool.

Photo courtesy of cfsem.org
In 2015, The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a series of grants to fund projects and initiatives that reflect the personal passions of the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., a Detroit native and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills professional football team.

Marine City Manager Scott Adkins responded to a number of questions about the project via email on July 3. He said the city receives regular notices relating to available grants and this particular notice was in early 2024.  

“I authorized the grant application which was completed by Michele Goodrich,” Adkins explained. “The grant award announcement was in April 2024 from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.”

Adkins said the city applied for a partner grant from the Community Foundation of St Clair County and were successful in receiving a grant for $10,290.44 for the same project.  

“This grant was actually the first grant and was approved in February 2024,” Adkins said.

The city applied for $50,000 for the Belle River Accessible Fishing Peir and related walkway and were pleased to be awarded the grant.

The larger grant is expected be received soon and the city has already begun the construction permit process and the smaller grant will come in once the project has been completed. 

Photo courtesy of CTV Community Television/YouTube
Marine City Manager Scott Adkins.

Design and Engineering is planned to start later this summer with construction staring in late fall and completion in early spring 2025, Adkins said.

The pier will be located adjacent to the existing Accessible Canoe and Kayak launch along the Belle River near the foot of Robertson Street. Adkins said it’s also directly across from the new Marina Project in what they are calling the Marina District Area.

Adkins said the city has received previous funding from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. and the Community Foundation and other partners for the larger Marine Project which is currently open and, in a design-engineering phase for the addition of restrooms and other amenities. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2025.

Total grants awarded across metro-Detroit $800,000

Grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Youth Sports were announced previously in April as Project Play and joined the Detroit Sports Commission to welcome the NFL Draft to Detroit. 

In a June 5 press release about the grants, it was stated that the endowed funds, which the Community Foundation manages, focus on regional caregiving, design and access to public spaces, youth sports, and the Grosse Pointe communities.  

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established the funds at the Community Foundation to support issues that were important to the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., a Detroit native, former Grosse Pointe resident, and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills football team. Endowed funds at the Community Foundation are designed to grow over time and provide funding in perpetuity for charitable causes according to a donor’s wishes.    

“The Wilson Legacy Funds are an incredible asset for southeast Michigan,” Community Foundation President Richard (Ric) DeVore says. “From support for caregivers of LGBTQ+ older adults, to the installation of an accessible kayak launch, to a new theater program focused on senior citizens, this year’s grantmaking was designed to expand access to a variety of opportunities that make our region a place where everyone can thrive.”  

The endowed Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation are complementary to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s efforts to create an immediate impact within the communities of southeast Michigan and Western New York. The Legacy Funds are a generous, important tool of support, particularly for a range of smaller and midsized nonprofit organizations. Grants from these funds are made annually, and information on the next round of grantmaking will be available this fall.   

Grants, totaling $814,030, were among those provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds through an open, competitive application process. 

There were 15 grants from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Fund for Youth Sports totaling $288,030. The city of Port Huron was awarded a $20,000 for installing a volleyball court in the new 16th Street Park, a public space transforming into active, multi-sport fields and play areas.

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