Nominate the next Fred Meijer Trail Champion

Now is the time to nominate the 2017 Fred Meijer Trail Champions. Nominations are needed in three categories:

  • Trail Volunteer - Individual
  • Trail Professional - Individual
  • Trail Maintenance - Individual or Group

Winners will be recognized at the WMTGC Annual Meeting on Thursday, October 12 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Last year's winners included volunteer Dennis Kneibel, professional Tom Byle, and maintenance group the Friends of the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail.

Fred Meijer was West Michigan's ultimate trail champion. His vision, belief, and support were instrumental to our trail network enjoyed by so many people for recreation, exercise, and transportation. Yet Fred would be the first to recognize that numerous dedicated individuals and groups contribute significantly to the development and maintenance of our trails. This annual award honors Fred's legacy and recognizes the contributions of those individuals and groups.

To nominate please include the nominee and category, nominee and nominator contact information, and a description of the nominee's contributions and/or qualifications for the specific award.

Please email to or mail to WMTGC, P.O. Box 325, Comstock Park, MI 49321 before September 8, 2017. For more information, email or call 616-485-7805.

Remembering Mark Mandenberg

Mark Douglas Mandenberg (October 1, 1952 – June 27,2017) was a man of many talents who loved life and lived it to the fullest! He worked for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources for 28 years, turning railways into trail ways that countless nature-lovers enjoy year-round. An avid outdoorsman, he preferred stories of the woods to stories on television. He kept the freezer stocked with fish, morel mushrooms, and venison from his hunting, hiking, and fishing trips.

Mark joyfully shared his artistry with others. He knew how to landscape a garden, operate all kinds of tools to build just about anything, and make one of a kind welcome home signs that always surprised others. He spent countless hours on a ladder at Riverwalk Theatre, scene painting, designing in the scene shop, or building a set. When encouraged, he took center stage as a dancing, singing ghost, a rooster, and other unique characters that often brought down the house.

Mark deeply valued spending time with friends. He was in a golf league, worked parking at MSU sporting events, eagerly joined buddies for a beer, and he loved inviting people over dinner. An amazing cook, “Chef Mark” reveled in selecting new recipes from all kinds of cookbooks, to the delight of everyone present.

Mark had a perpetual desire to be a better person. He accepted all people with curiosity and care, no matter their baggage or background. He found ways to be peaceful and joyful during challenging times. He was ready to brighten a room with his quirky sense of humor. He was strong, courageous, and kind.

Mark became an Eagle Scout as a member of Troop 2 of the Boy Scouts of America at People’s Church. He graduated from East Lansing High School in 1970, before earning his degree in Landscape Architecture in 1974 at Michigan State University. Mark spent some time living in Arizona and Colorado before returning to Michigan in 1982. He is dearly loved and survived by his wife, Joni Starr, his siblings, Craig, Lynne, Carl, and Christopher, and a wide and deep circle of friends.

He is greatly missed. A celebration of Mark’s life will be held August 26 beginning at 4 p.m. at Sleepy Hollow State Park (7835 Price Road, Laingsburg, MI). Roast BBQ pork will be available – please bring a side dish or dessert to share. BYOB – alcohol is allowed. Come earlier to play Frisbee, croquet, and more, or go hiking, fishing, boating, or swimming. Photos and stories will be shared.

For questions, contact Annamarie Bauer at 616-485-7559.

Our Mission:

To coordinate a regional trails & greenways infrastructure.

Our Vision:

To develop a non-motorized trail network that connects our communities, wildlife areas, parks, historic landmarks, and civic destinations. In this way, we build something sustainable for future generations to enjoy.



News & Announcements

View All »

5 West Michigan Trails to Share in $232,000 in Private Funds

posted on 02/05/2015

WEST MICHIGAN - Kent County this year plans to extend the Fred Meijer Pioneer Trail nearer to a hook...

more »

WMTGC Kicks Off New Year with Three Grant Awards!

posted on 02/03/2015

2015 has launched with an exciting start for the Coalition! Three foundations have awarded us grants...

more »

Fred Meijer Trail Champion

Upcoming Events

View All »