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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: From Foreclosure to Riverview Launch

Kalamazoo County Land Bank

A piece of property along the Kalamazoo River was blighted and run down three years ago. But it’s opening to the public in a new incarnation. 

Kalamazoo County Land Bank Executive Director Kelly Clark and Percy Wolfe, Community Bank President for Chemical Bank and Chairman of the project’s Capital Campaign Committee joined WMUK’s Gordon Evans to discuss how Riverview Launch came to be.

Clarke says it includes walking trails, and is near the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, a popular place for bicyclists. She says the Land Bank now has its offices there along with Open Roads Bike Program.

Wolfe says the capital campaign has raised $1.9-million so far. He says the site had been “orphaned” but now “belongs to everybody.” Wolfe says they hope to raise another $25,000 for future maintenance and upkeep. 

Interview with Kelly Clarke and Percy Wolfe - web version

The property was the site of Riverside Greenhouses. Clarke says she heard from people who use the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail who said they felt unsafe along this stretch of the trail. She says when the property went into tax foreclosure in 2012 the Land Bank was able to purchase it, and start making improvements.

A grand opening of Riverview Launch is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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