Commerce Lane/Railroad Trestle Restoration Project
The Commerce Lane/Railroad Trestle project proposes to combine riverbank restoration efforts
along Commerce Lane with the alteration of the city-owned railroad trestle to improve River
flow. The Commerce Lane railroad trestle crosses the Kalamazoo River on a diagonal from west
to east, and due to the spacing of its supporting structure has often caused a pile-up of river
debris and has altered and impeded river flow.
The removal of the trestle to improve river flow and offer wildlife viewing opportunities
combined with a riverbank restoration project in the area along Commerce Lane would offer a
very visible model for environmental remediation along the river corridor.
Urban Wildlife Corridor
In its initial stages, this Urban Wildlife Corridor project would identify and prioritize critical
riverine, riparian and upland areas for resource restoration, inventory current populations of
plants and animals, develop a focused “pockets of recovery” plan, and carry out recovery and
resource enhancement in designated areas.
In the longer term, Urban Wildlife Corridor restoration projects offer the opportunity to develop
public awareness of the river and its surroundings as an important environmental resource.
Varied projects including coordinated river access points for kayaks and canoes, development
of wildlife viewing trails, birding trails with handicap access, pollinator pathways, a nest box trail
through the region, and an increased opportunity for more passive enjoyment of the river with
enhanced picnicking spots and observational platforms and sites would all contribute to a
growing public awareness of and appreciation for the river as a regional asset.