Trenton Trail Practicum Poster

Trenton Trail Plan Executive Study and Poster


May 24, 2021 - Author: Gabrielle Herin, Ryan Michael, Dingning Du, Boyang Xia, Nate DeRoos

As part of the 2021 Spring Michigan State University Practicum course, Urban and Regional Planning graduate and undergraduate students collaborated with Trenton, MI to promote the city as a Trail Town. One goal of the project was to emphasize the existing natural assets. Another was to encourage economic growth by connecting those same assets to the West Jefferson Avenue central business district. Such assets included the land and water trail system, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR) and Elizabeth Park.

The team based their report on primary data collected through numerous site visits. A portion of the site visits were dedicated to analyzing the current condition of the West Jefferson Avenue central business district, a three-block area spanning from Maple Street north to Elm Street. Seeing the site helped the team understand the unique character of the West Jefferson Avenue central business district. The team attended three community stakeholder meetings.

The meetings provided valuable community input on how to promote Trenton as a Trail Town to the city’s residents and to the people of Downriver. The secondary data was collected from the U.S. Census and business analyst online.

The team found that the population of Trenton experienced its peak population in 2018.

Since the year 2018, the City of Trenton has seen a sharp decline in population. Trenton’s largest land use category is single family housing. There is also a good amount of land dedicated to recreation, open space and institutional land uses. In addition, to the existing natural assets that this study focuses on, the community has other assets including a traditional downtown and many well-attended festivals and events. The city holds several public events and festivals that utilize the community assets of Trenton. The team conducted an event and festival analysis and identified where potential improvements could be made to future events that would further connect Trenton to its existing natural assets. A walkability analysis of the downtown area showed that the West Jefferson Avenue central business district is generally walkable with easy to navigate streets. The downtown Trenton analysis demonstrated that the area has many service-based businesses, but limited retail options. Both the streets and buildings of the West


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