Author Archive

My Huron River (Argo)


HRWC staff picks of favorite watershed spots, celebrating 50 years of river protection and restoration work.

My desk at work faces the office window overlooking Argo Pond. Since my arrival 8 years ago it has been a constant source of inspiration, for my life and my fundraising work.  Some would argue that I am writing about a pond, an impoundment and not the river.  However, like the river, I will keep moving on, and appreciate the view of Argo and what it has taught me as a companion of solace all these years. The view has taught me to take my time, and to enjoy the scenery and the beauty and to see what is more interesting by not rushing through my work day. It reminds me that my work is all about what I am looking at.  It encourages me to go with the flow, but to also diverge when the opportunity presents, because changing direction can have beneficial impacts. I am but a witness to change. Change in weather, the change of light from morning to night and changes in color of trees over seasons. In my neighborhood, just outside my window, I have seen the most popular sport change from club rowing to paddle boarding.  I have seen eagles, osprey, foxes, ice skaters, early morning runners training, cyclists, walkers, and pet owners with all species of dogs go round the pond.  And then there is the dam.  A favorite inspiration on difficult days? The dam. The dam reminds me that we can overcome obstacles, because the river always finds a way.

HRWC is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year!

Tell us your favorite watershed spot HERE.

Connect and share river ruminations or captured moments with us on FacebookTwitter and InstagramUse #huronriver50 to mark your posts!

Appreciate the River, today, Sunday July 12, by joining HRWC for some fun or heading to YOUR favorite spot with friends.

Rivering at The Ark

Celebrate HRWC’s 50th, Sunday April 26, 1 pmchris good

You just have to be there for this Huron River-inspired, beautifully crafted, and uplifting canon of river songs, poems and images, featuring river lovers and performers: Chris Good, Kate Peterson, Magdalen Fossum, Billy Kirst, Kyle Rhodes and Panoka Walker. Special appearances by Carnegie Hall soloist and UM Professor Evan Chambers, along with The Chenille Sisters‘ exquisite harmonies. WEMU’s news director David Fair will be our emcee for this big, fun, once in a lifetime celebration of HRWC. Expect the unexpected, but we won’t tell you what, because we want to keep some surprises until showtime. You’ll just have to buy a ticket to find out.

Purchase Tickets  Tickets are $15 general admission and $25 reserved seating, doors open 12:30pm

Delhi Rapids on the Huron River Water Trail. Photo courtesy of T. Janiuk

Delhi Rapids on the Huron River Water Trail. Photo courtesy of T. Janiuk

Announcement: We want to capture your appreciation and care of the Huron River for HRWC’s 50th anniversary celebration. It would be great if you would share your  favorite spots, photographs and memories with us on social media. You can find us on Facebook (@huronriver), Instagram (@huronriver), and on Twitter (@hrwc). Please use the hashtag “#huronriver50.”

Thanks to our Sponsors: Ann Arbor State Bank, LENA and Ann Arbor Area Convention and Vistor’s Bureau, Axe & Ecklund,P.C. and Municipal Financial Consultants, Inc.


Brunch for Clean Water

Lena to Donate Percent of Brunch Proceeds to Huron River Watershed Council

Event Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015

Join Lena and the Huron River Watershed Council in their vision of a future with clean and plentiful water for people and nature, where citizens like you are effective and courageous champions for the Huron River.

To help celebrate HRWC’s 50th Anniversary, bring your friends and family for Sunday brunch at Lena on April 26. Lena will contribute 15% of the proceeds from brunch to the Huron River Watershed Council. Afterwards, join HRWC at The Ark for Rivering, a celebration of the river and HRWC’s 50th anniversary. Brunch is served from 10am-2pm and the full menu can be viewed online at lena-annarbor.com.

Lena is also partnering with the Huron River Watershed Council to promote membership in HRWC during the month of April. Lena invites you to join them in supporting HRWC’s mission to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities.

You can include a membership while paying your bill in one simple transaction – just ask your server for details next time you are at Lena.

Located in the landmark building on the corner of S. Main and Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor, Lena features modern food of the Americas, influenced by Latin culture and cuisine. Lena was voted Top 10 Best New Metro Detroit Restaurants of 2012 by The Detroit Free Press.

For more information, please contact Lena, Food of the Americas, 226 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, 734.994.2773 or email lena@mission86.com

Help us start the year off strong!

85% of our water quality work is funded locally.

During this season of giving, we invite you to make a gift to our Annual Fund for Clean Water to support our water quality monitoring programs. Gifts made by midnight on December 31, 2014 will be matched dollar for dollar by the Upton Foundation. A long-time funder of HRWC’s water quality programs, the Upton Foundation awarded HRWC a matching grant to double the impact of your annual gift.

From the staff at HRWC to your family, thank you for your continued support and Happy New Year!

From the staff at HRWC to your family, thank you for your continued support and Happy New Year!

Please donate to the Annual Fund for Clean Water

The Huron river is the cleanest urban river because of the work we do with your help. Help us protect the river and the clean water that sustains us all.

With gratitude,
Laura Rubin
Executive Director

p.s. If you have already responded with a donation, thank you.


Environmental Stewardship

Arbor Teas Recognized for its Green Initiatives!Congratulations to our business partner Arbor Teas!

Jeremy Lopatin of Arbor Teas

Jeremy Lopatin of Arbor Teas

On March 28, Arbor Teas had the special honor of being inducted into the International Green Industry Hall of Fame! After a blind nomination process and a review by their Board of Directors, Arbor Teas was selected for conducting business with a genuine commitment to environmental stewardship.

Arbor Teas became the FIRST tea company in the United States to deliver a full line of organic loose teas in backyard compostable packaging. With the release of this next-generation packaging,  Arbor Teas advanced their environmental mission, continuing their commitment to sustainable business practices. For the first time ever, tea drinkers are now able to compost their tea leaves AND tea packaging together in their home composting system!

Arbor Teas is an excellent example of a HRWC business  partner, supporting clean water initiatives for the Huron River! We thank them for their stewardship.

Living at the Water’s Edge

Laura Rubin talks with watershed residentsHuron River at Delhi

We share your connection to the Huron River. HRWC wants to hear your concerns and help you protect your property and the river. HRWC’s Executive Director Laura Rubin will facilitate a series of conversations and answer resident’s questions. Working together in the watershed, works for all of us. Please join us at one of our community conversations dedicated to residents who live at the water’s edge.

Thursday May 30, 7pm, Ypsilanti Township Civic Center, 7200 S Huron River Dr, Ypsilanti

Tuesday June 11, 7pm, Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St, Dexter

Wednesday, June 12, 7pm, Commerce Township Hall, 2009 Township Dr, Commerce

Topics of discussion: Shoreline, Recreation, Landscape, Water Quality and Quantity, River Access, Habitat, Flooding, Watershed Restoration, Property Values, Riparian Education and Stewardship.

RSVP and questions: Contact Margaret Smith at  msmith@hrwc.org or (734)769-5123 x 605.


River Creativity

Your View of the Huron River

HRWC is hosting two Photography Workshops in 2013, May 11-12 & October 19-20. Local professional photographers Michael Seabrook and Marc Akemann will lead the classes.  Each workshop, in May & October, will consist of 2 half-day classes. We encourage you to register for both workshops to get the full benefit of what Marc and Mike will be teaching. Come prepared to get hands-on experience in the field, and learn basic techniques for taking great nature photos—obtaining correct exposures, controlling the depth-of-field, making sharper photos, customizing your camera to do what you want it to, and more. All skill levels are welcome.

Special guest speaker: world-renowned photographer and local Ann Arbor resident, Howard Bond will be speaking at both workshops. Maximum registration for both classes is 20 participants.

What to Bring: A camera that allows you to manually set the shutter speed and aperture. All participants will receive a Huron Camera coupon good for 10% off camera bags, memory cards and filters.  One time use only but you can purchase multiple items.

Visit  HERE to find out more, and see examples of Marc and Mike’s work and to register for the classes.

Photography Workshop Schedule: May 11-12 & October 19-20

Saturday class:

2-3:45PM – New Center* – Introductions, class time, Q&A, Howard Bond.
4-6PM – Shooting time in the field (along the Huron somewhere…TBD).

Sunday class:

8-9:45AM – Shooting time at Delhi Metropark (tentatively)
10AM-12PM – New Center* – Work on an image or two/project images, Howard Bond.

*New Center is at 1100 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Good New Year

Huron River at Island Lake State Park

2012 has provided HRWC with gifts of wonderful opportunities and accomplishments benefiting the Huron River and our watershed community.

Thank you for continuing to support HRWC’s mission to inspire attitudes, behaviors, and economies to protect, rehabilitate, and sustain the Huron River System.

Have a Good New Year!

96% of waste diverted from landfills during the Suds on the River fundraiser

The Zero Waste station at Suds on the River.

Suds on the River goes Zero Waste!

The Huron River Watershed Council worked with Recycle Ann Arbor to go Zero Waste at this year’s Suds on the River fundraiser. From this event, 141 pounds of waste were produced, but 136 pounds were recycled and composted- that is a 96% waste diversion!

The recycling from this event saved 6 gallons of gasoline and 298 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

How does a Zero Waste Event run?

The goal at a Zero Waste event is to plan ahead to limit the amount of waste produced, by only distributing materials that are locally recyclable or compostable (no materials that have to be landfilled), and maximize reusable products. Landfills have been shown to be the most environmentally detrimental option for legal waste disposal. Zero Waste services ensure that events have the smallest possible impact upon the environment.

During a Zero Waste event, volunteers are stationed at the three-bin Zero Waste stations to assist patrons in sorting waste into the correct receptacles for compost, recyclables, or trash. Through a partnership with WeCare Organics, Recycle Ann Arbor is able to collect more materials for composting than are accepted in the Ann Arbor curbside compost program or than can be composted at home.

Recycle Ann Arbor has been able to offer expanded special events Zero Waste services in Washtenaw County due to a recent grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation which allowed the organization to purchase 20 compost and recycling bins from ClearStream Recycling, as well as a floor scale for tracking weights of all waste produced at events.

All non-durable dishware and utensils at this event were certified compostable by Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). Besides plain paper plates and napkins, these included compostable potato or corn starch tubs, cups, containers, lids, and clamshells. These products can be purchased locally at Bgreen, located at 2111 Packard Rd., Ann Arbor.

Recycle Ann Arbor has coordinated Zero Waste efforts at five environmental events this year: the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival on April 22nd, the Mayor’s Green Fair on June 8th, the Ecology Center’s Dance for the Earth on April 21st and EcoRide on June 24th, and HomeGrown Festival on Sept 8th. In total, these events produced 952.4 lbs. of waste, of which 903.9 lbs. (95%) was diverted from landfill through recycling and composting.

Brew’s Success

Great beer needs good quality water. Good water quality depends on great communities.

Congratulations to Emily Levine and Ian Griffin!  They are the 2012 Brew Passport Winners, pictured here with HRWC Executive Director Laura Rubin.  On behalf of the staff and board at HRWC, thanks to everyone who came out to support our BREW for the River Events week after week and brew after brew!!  It was fun to get together every week, taste the various artisan brews and talk about  water conservation and water quality in our watershed.  Thanks to our brewers Oliver Roberts of Wolverine, Ron Jeffries of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Duncan Williams of Grizzly Peak, Logan Schaedig of Arbor Brewing Company and Tim Schmidt of Blue Tractor for their time and creativity on behalf of clean water in our watershed. It is our privilege to feature them and work with them on the Brew events.  We appreciate and depend on  the community of river stewards who support our work  by  attending special events like BREW, by volunteering and through membership. YOU make our work possible. Thank you.

Please send msmith@hrwc.org any ideas or suggestions who may have for next year’s Brew for the River events.

See you on the river!

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