State names Belmont man ‘Rails-to-Trails’ champion

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL

73rd District State Representative Pete MacGregor presents Dave Heyboer, Chairman of the Friends of the White Pine Trail with a Michigan State Tribute honoring Dave for his unselfish devotion to all things Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. This evening was very special for Dave and he couldn’t help himself while grinning from ear-to-ear.

Last week Thursday evening, the highlight of the monthly Friends of the White Pine Trail meeting at the Rockford Community Cabin was to be a flat bicycle tire repair presentation by Dave Heyboer, Chairman of the 500 member Trail advocacy group.

Unbeknownst to Heyboer, he was about to be upstaged and honored with the presentation of a Tribute from the State of Michigan that had been sponsored by 73rd District State Representative Peter MacGregor.

Humbled and almost speechless, (a rarity for Heyboer) the honoree listened while MacGregor read, in part, from the tribute as follows:

With the exception of Fred Meijer, no one has been more responsible in making the White Pine Trail, Michigan’s longest linear State Park, what it is today. Mr. Heyboer is a true, “rails to trails” champion, capably handling the demanding and vital responsibilities of establishing a vision, gaining donors and executing plans. We are pleased to join our voice to those of the communities stretching from Grand Rapids, MI to Cadillac, MI, in thanking him for his dedication and honoring his selfless service to our State. This recognition is certainly well deserved.

With a face meant for radio, Dave Heyboer demonstrates how to repair a flat bicycle tire.

Although the “rails” were established long ago, the paving, convenience and safety improvements, and continued maintenance of, are critical to the transformation of the “rails” to “trails”. The hard work, commitment, and innovation of Mr. Heyboer and the “Friends” are major factors in the overall success and continued improvements of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail. The work that Mr. Heyboer has accomplished has made the reputation of the trail possible and provides a model for others to follow.

Under the official seal of the Great State of Michigan, Michigan’s Rep. Peter MacGregor, Senator Mark Jansen, and Gov. Rick Snyder signed the framed tribute with sincere thanks and wishes for continued success in all of Heyboer’s endeavors.

To his good credit Rep. MacGregor has, since being elected to office some 16 months ago, actively sought to recognize constituents who have made a difference in all of our lives. No one is more deserving of this distinctly high honor than Dave Heyboer.

Congratulations Dave from the Rockford Squire and members of the Friends of the White Pine Trail along with linear trail users from near and far. Happy trails to you!

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