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Developing river trail

A step toward development of a county-owned river trail was taken Tuesday.

Members of the St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners Tuesday agreed to fund $89,000 for services provided by Edgewater Resources.

Based in the city of St. Joseph, Edgewater Resources will work with the county in developing a riverfront master plan. An outline and scope Edgewater comprised for county officials shows a series of steps necessary to enhance for recreational purposes publicly owned lands along the St. Joseph, Rocky, Portage, Prairie, Fawn and Pigeon rivers.

In addition, the proposal calls for engaging private landowners in the development of integrated strategy for linking a future network of river way trails to existing regional trail networks, and connecting them to significant natural, cultural and historic resources throughout the county.

According to documents from Edgewater, development of the plan will require collaboration with the cities, villages and townships throughout the county, as well as coordination with the state to identify potential grant-funding sources.