Grants and Funding

Clinton River Trail to See Major Improvements

Press Release PDF


In partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester, Friends of the Clinton River Trail (FCRT) is excited to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund.  This grant will be combined with matching funds from the City of Pontiac, City of Sylvan Lake, FCRT, Pontiac Funders Collaborative, and other private sources for a total project budget of $600,000.  The funding will be used to design, engineer and construct significant enhancements to the Clinton River Trail in Pontiac and Sylvan Lake between Pontiac Drive and Bagley Street (approximately 1.75 miles).


The goal of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund is to provide maintenance support to previously developed trails and greenways.  The Clinton River Trail project will include critically needed upgrades where the trail crosses both Pontiac Drive and Orchard Lake Road.  Additionally, funds will be used to resurface the crushed limestone trail, replace railings on two bridges over the Clinton River, install regulatory signs, and make other safety and mobility feature enhancements.  Construction is anticipated to take place in 2021.


“FCRT served as a catalyst to bring together the various stakeholders and funding sources for this collaborative effort.  This type of project would have never happened without the cooperation of Pontiac, Sylvan Lake and other private groups,” said Melinda Hill, FCRT president.  FCRT provided the initial funding for design/engineering services allowing the project to get started.   Hill also acknowledged the critical role the Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs Department played in finding the right partners and assisting in grant preparation.  Further assistance is being provided by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester which will serve as fiduciary for the project.


John Martin, city manager of Sylvan Lake, explained “Sylvan Lake is thrilled to be able to work with the Friends group and the granting agencies to address the city’s trail crossing at Pontiac Drive.  This diagonal crossing has needed attention for some time, but the expected cost was beyond what the city was able to budget.  With the grant support, residents of our community can now look forward to a safer crossing of this busy road.”


Pontiac Mayor, Deirdre Waterman, was equally enthusiastic.  “With the COVID situation, Pontiac residents are using the trail more and more.  Being able to make these improvements, especially the trail crossing at Orchard Lake Road near Beaudette Park, will not only make the trail more attractive, but will enhance safety for all trail users in the city” Mayor Waterman said.   “We are excited and anxious to see these changes implemented.  Thank you to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for creating the Trails Maintenance Fund and all the other partners for making this possible.”


For project details, please visit:


Download a PDF of the press release here













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