Archive for the ‘paddling’ Category
Title: Huron River Water Trail Partners Meeting
Location: NEW Center, South Conference Room, 1100 N Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI
Description: Quarterly meeting of the Huron River Water Trail Partners. This meeting will focus on accessibility concerns and solutions for adaptive launches with guest speakers from the Downriver Limb Loss Support Group and KBE Precision Products, regional distributor of the E-Z Dock Launch system; and on the re-design of the website for the Water Trail with The Greenway Collaborative, Inc. Trail Towns Representatives and Partners will share their progress on the Water Trail development.
Start Time: 09:00
End Time: 11:30
While my co-workers are out of the office celebrating the holidays, the first real snowfall and the days growing longer, I am celebrating by myself — at my desk.
I am thrilled to give you a sneak preview of the Huron River Water Trail Paddler’s Companion.
After months of work, the 40-page Companion is ready for the printing press. You’ll be able to pick up your own copy starting with our table at the Quiet Water Symposium on March 2nd at Michigan State University.
Look for more details in 2013 on our website!
The HRWC Auction Team has been hard at work, compiling our largest collection of fabulous items for your bidding pleasure! This year we have over 40 items listed online at BiddingForGood and all proceeds benefit HRWC’s efforts to restore and protect the watershed.
Bids on the River is online now until November 26 and is the perfect shopping opportunity for the holidays or any occasion.
Here are our team members’ picks:
Rebecca: I wish my kids were little again, because I would be all over the “Fun With Bugs” workshop being offered by our very own Paul Steen. Actually, this would be great for not-so-little kids and anglers too. Learn all about the bugs in our watershed and why they are critical to the local ecosytem. Got someone with entomological tendencies? Coolest. Gift. Ever.
Margaret: It’s a toss up between Unadilla Boatworks’ “Build A Boat” workshop and Schultz’s Outfitters Fly Fishing Lessons (4 on offer!). I think both are great experiences directly connected to recreation on our river. Ron Sell and Mike Schultz support HRWC efforts in raising awareness of responsible use of our water resources while enjoying the recreational opportunities offered in the watershed.
Meg: How do I choose? I want to bid on them all! But, if you’re going to force me to pick one…I think I’ll have to go with Jolly Pumpkin & Melissa Ferrick Package. I can almost never pass up the food and beer at Jolly. And while I can’t say I’m a hardcore Melissa Ferrick fan, per se (I just listened to her music for the first time today), I am a lover of good music and I know that good times are always had at The Ark. Good food, good beer AND good times. How can anyone pass that up?
New items added since the auction opened include a rain barrel from Downtown Home & Garden, a rap workshop from Rap For Food, a “Bucket of Balm” from North Wind Naturals and a Bake Class from Zingerman’s!
The auction closes on November 26, so start your bidding soon and check check back often. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to purchase a beautiful gift for yourself or a special someone and support HRWC with just a couple of clicks!
In 1972, the Huron River Watershed Council was a seven-year-old organization with a staff of one part-time director caring for a river that changed color (and odor) depending on which industry was dumping waste water into it.
Forty years later, a full-time Executive Director oversees a staff of ten professionals who study, plan, implement and facilitate for the benefit of the Huron River and its communities. Quantifying the impact of the Clean Water Act of 1972 on this watershed is challenging yet undeniable.
Since the 1990s, when the US EPA began awarding grants through the provisions of the Clean Water Act, HRWC has received about 24 grants valued at over $3,000,000 that reach into all communities of the watershed with the unifying goal of making the river more swimmable, fishable and drinkable. These grants have restored creeks, protected high quality streams, and developed forward-looking plans that commit stakeholders to restoration and protection actions.
Add to those impressive numbers the low-interest loans and grants awarded to HRWC’s partners for drinking water, waste water and storm water infrastructure improvements, and the investment in the Huron River watershed through the Clean Water Act is unmatched. Of course, the Act provides more than financial resources; it gives citizens and communities a tool to advocate for and expect clean water.
In this auspicious year of presidential and local elections, learning about the Clean Water Act is an important step to understanding its reach and value. The US EPA, the federal agency primarily responsible for implementing the Act, highlights the 40th anniversary, as well.
HRWC is honored to share the podium on October 18th at a 40th Anniversary Celebration of this landmark legislation with one of its architects, Congressman John Dingell, on the banks of the Huron River in Flat Rock.
Everyone is invited to be a part of history at Huroc Park (Arsenal and Huron Streets) where the Congressman will make remarks and be joined by other speakers including HRWC Executive Director Laura Rubin and Elizabeth Riggs for RiverUp!
Rain or shine, friends of the Huron and fresh water everywhere will come together to celebrate the Act’s legacy and share hopes for the future.
This past Saturday, I went to the ribbon cutting ceremony in Dexter for the Mill Creek Park, a 1.4-acre public park located in the heart of the downtown business district. Wow, is it beautiful. I know the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Mill Pond was a weed-choked, stinky pond. Now we have an open central park with an amphitheater, trails, fishing piers and overlooks, boat access, benches, and pretty flowers and trees. And then there’s the creek. Anglers have spotted brown trout jumping this past week!
And the increased activity is palpable. Runners, walkers, and cyclists go by on the path, connecting to the downtown, the trails to the library, and to the river where there are trails completed or near completion both upstream and downstream to HCMA parks. There were a half dozen anglers and people learning to fly fish as Colton Bay and Ann Arbor Trout Unlimited folks were giving fly fishing demonstrations. And then the people ambling in from downtown Dexter. People who had just been to the farmers market, the bakery or running errands who came to the water edge to rest and watch.
The Mill Creek dam removal in 2008 sparked the idea of a central park in Dexter. Restoration included some in-stream and bank activities to enhance habitat, direct the stream, and slow flows. The Village of Dexter went to work establishing a vision for a vibrant, beautiful, and well connected park in downtown Dexter. The project includes an amphitheater, boardwalk, two boat launches, two observation and fishing decks and benches along the path.
The project cost $1.24 million with most of the money coming from grant funding. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund provided $450,000, the Waterways Infrastructure Program gave $50,000, Washtenaw County assisted with $200,000 in funding, and DTE provided $4,000.
Congratulations to the Village of Dexter and Paul Cousins, Village council member and HRWC board member, who took the lead on the project. At the ribbon cutting on Saturday, Allison Bishop, Community Development Director at the Village, told me that she is receiving numerous calls from residents saying that Dexter is turning in to one of the coolest places to live and is very vibrant. The river is one of the “coolest” things we have going for us in SE Michigan and when we restore it by removing dams, improving access and recreation, and opening up economic opportunities, we are seeing a real river (and community) renaissance.
and more work to come:
A second phase of the park’s construction will probably begin within the next five years. A path to connect Hudson Mills Metropark to Mill Creek Park is slated for this fall/winter.
A peaceful evening paddling under the moonlight.
Yesterday’s paddle trip was a special recreational offering by HWRC and a gem of an experience. Most of the paddle trips we offer are distance paddle trips starting at ‘point A’ and ending, many hours later, at ‘point B’. This summer, our paddle trips have included challenging lake crossings, interesting encounters of wildlife, a stretch of residential use, and high traffic on the river. Each of these occurrences have added to the excitement, spurred great conversations, and increased the educational value of the trips. But yesterday the water was calm, our surroundings were natural, and we had the lakes to ourselves! However, we did see many fantastic birds, and thanks to Dea Armstrong (City of Ann Arbor Ornithologist) we kept a trip list to record our sightings! Our trip list of birds includes a hummingbird, purple martins, and a family of sand hill cranes!
The trip started out on the tiny beach at Pickerel Lake in the Pinckney Recreation Area. With a small group of paddlers, we gathered together out on the water for an educational discussion led by Barry Lonik on how the local landscape was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. He also explained how this area was first settled and how the land in the Pinckney Recreation Area was later protected from development. In the middle of lake and in the middle of our discussion, a pair of swimmers joined us to explain how the Friends of Pickerel Lake fought to eliminate motorized boat use on the lake! What a great success for the health of the lake and for its visitors! After the discussion, our group leisurely paddled around the lake, exploring banks strewn with sedges, reeds, and tamaracks. We had a great group of folks on the water who savored their surroundings and enjoyed the relaxed nature of the trip.
From Pickerel Lake, we paddled through a narrow channel lined with pickerelweed, arrowhead, purple fringed orchids, and lily pads. Barry led us through this channel to Crooked lake, where we got our first glimpse of the full moon and saw a family of sand hill cranes feeding in the lily pads. We observed them for a while as they fed near their nest and then continued paddling to Crooked Lake Campground. HRWC staff member Pam Labadie was waiting for us at our campsite with a roaring campfire, s’mores fixings, and plenty of chairs to rest. Upon the request of Dea Armstrong, many of us made our s’mores with potato chips stuffed in between the marshmallow and chocolate! Salty-Sweet, as Dea would say. We all enjoyed the fire into the evening and paddled back to Pickerel Lake under the moonlight. Thanks to everyone for a great trip!
NOTE: the last two paddle trips are full and registration is closed. Please join us next summer!
If you have any suggestions for summer recreation events, please contact Emily at email@example.com.
At Huron River Day on Sunday!
Over 70 H20 Heroes pledged to save water and energy with the help of a 5-minute shower timer at Sunday’s 32nd annual Huron River Day in Ann Arbor. The crowd braved the record warm weather to talk with HRWC volunteers and staff and get a photo with the H2O Hero, meet Congressman John Dingell, try a Huron Mystery Geocache Challenge hosted by the Michigan Geocaching Organization (MiGO), and enjoy food, music, paddling on Gallup Pond, a classic small boat show and plenty of family friendly activities.
HRWC was there presenting information on the Saving Water Saves Energy project and other initiatives like RiverUp! and the Huron River Water Trail. It was inspiring to see so much enthusiasm and excitement for the Huron River.
Thanks to the HRD Committee for organizing such a great event, to Bob and Beth Hospadaruk and Steve Fritz of MiGO, to HRWC volunteers Korinne and Joe Wotell for helping with the HRWC booth, and to Congressman Dingell for his support of HRD.
Hope to see you next time at HRD 33!
People are talking and writing about the newly completed portage on the Huron River!
The RiverUp! initiative proudly announces the official re-opening of the portage around Superior Dam. The new portage features a low dock for canoe and kayak take-out, a graded gravel path, and new sheltered launch area in quiet waters. And the rustic black willow bench really ties the portage site together.
The portage improvements are the result of the generous support of Thomas Buhr and John Carver, and coordination and cooperation from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, City of Ann Arbor, and Superior Township. The portage was officially re-opened recently with a ribbon cutting and champagne toasts. New way-finding signs sporting the Huron River Water Trail logo debuted at the site, as well.
Paddlers, enjoy the new safe and accessible portage. And while you are there, please leave only footprints and clean-up any debris you find to show the good stewardship of the paddling community.
The HRWC paddle trip this past Saturday was a great turnout! Not only did we have many paddlers, but we had many guides and HRWC staff members with us. Among the expert guides were Ron Sell, Barry Lonik, and Robert Jack. From HRWC, Elizabeth Riggs and Kris Olsson participated in the trip. In addition, Joan Martin, a retired HRWC staff member of 20 years joined the trip! Needless to say, there were many Huron River advocates and watershed experts.
The trip started at Huron Meadows Metropark and headed toward the chain of lakes. This is an interesting part of the river because paddlers can observe the impacts of development on the river and the importance of riparian buffer zones. When we arrived at Strawberry Lake, we were met with very high winds. This was the most challenging stretch of the day, but we persevered and paddled across against the wind. Finally, we crossed Zukey Lake, which was much calmer and a nice way to wind down the trip. Our trip ended at Zukey Lake Tavern, where we gathered for a tasty bite to eat and shared stories about the paddle trip!
Thanks to the volunteers, HRWC Staff, and all of the paddlers for a great trip!
The next paddle trip, the Full Moon Paddle, is on Tuesday, July 31st at 6:30 in the Pinckney Recreation Area. Contact Emily to register at firstname.lastname@example.org
Way finding on the Huron River Water Trail is about to get easier.
Beginning this month, and continuing through the summer, new signs featuring the Water Trail logo, site name and river miles (and kilometers) to Lake Erie are being installed along the 104 floatable miles of the river. HRWC is coordinating the installation with the help of volunteers and partners such as Proud Lake and Island Lake Recreation Areas, HCMA, County Parks, and the Trail Towns of Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, and Flat Rock.
One of the first signs on the Water Trail will be the one at Al Heavner’s boat rental at mile 101. Kind of fitting since Al is a fixture on the river and has been championing the idea of a Huron River Water Trail for years. Check out the happenings on the Water Trail at www.huronriverwatertrail.org.