Public Hearing to be Set for Grant Application to Acquire Acreage at Brown Bridge Quite Area

March 6, 2023

City Commission to Schedule Public Hearing for Grant Application
Funds to support acquisition of 528 acres at Brown Bridge Quiet Area

At their March 6, 2023 meeting, the City Commission announced a public hearing for March 20, 2023 related to the acquisition of two properties adjacent to the Brown Bridge Quiet Area (BBQA) that are combined, 528 acres. The public hearing will officially be set at a Special Meeting on Monday, March 13, 2023.The potential land acquisition was reviewed and discussed in closed session and is scheduled for public earing to consider approval of a grant application to the Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund (MDNR) for their April 1, 2023 grant cycle.

The City Commission was presented with three options; a 300 acre acquisition, a 228 acre acquisition, or a combination of a 528 acre acquisition. After review and discussion, the City Commission will consider a grant
application in the amount of $2,343,919 to support the 528 acre acquisition. The portion of funding on the City’s behalf will be up to $748,626. In the future, the City Commission will be asked to consider to allow taking the
question of expenditures to a public vote to utilize the Brown Bridge Quiet Area Trust Funds for the City’s portion. The City intends to work with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to assist with the development of methodologies on how to process the properties through the MDNR Land Acquisition Grant Program.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to potentially acquire this additional acreage to grow our recreational portfolio. The Brown Bridge Quiet Area is a beloved recreational area and this may be our last opportunity to
preserve this open space at this level of significance that is contiguous to the BBQA and continues to enhance the setting along the Boardman/Ottawa River on behalf of our current and future citizens,” stated City Manager,
Martin Colburn.

The BBQA is a 1,300+ acre recreational property on the outskirts of the City of Traverse City. The City acquired property in the early 1900s and it was established as a natural area for quiet recreation by the City Commission on March 21, 1977 and July 1, 1991, on the City-owned property, including frontage on the Boardman River.  

The City continues to operate the BBQA through a contract with the Grand Traverse Conservation District for management services and an Advisory Committee that has established a Management Plan. The proposed
application is in support of the City’s 5-year approved Parks and Recreation Plan and the BBQA Management Plan. The City Commission's 2022 adopted Goals and Objectives identified connecting people with nature as a
strategic priority with a goal to provide safe and accessible public spaces where people may recreate, socialize, or enjoy being alone in nature.