Posts Tagged ‘City of Ann Arbor’

Ann Arbor Unveils Plan for its Urban Forest

A2ForestAfter three years of study and gathering input from residents, businesses, forestry experts and stakeholder groups (including HRWC), the City of Ann Arbor is taking final public comment on their draft Urban and Community Forest Management Plan.

The Plan describes the status of the city’s “urban forest,” which includes all trees within the city, from the forests in Bird Hills and other parks, to the trees lining its streets and in back yards.  One of the findings of the plan is that trees provide $4.6 million in benefits each year to the city.  These benefits include reducing stormwater runoff , improving water and air quality, moderating summer temperatures, lowering utility costs and contributing to property values.  HRWC was a member of the Advisory Committee that provided input on plan development and fully supports the goals of the plan.

The City is accepting public comment on the plan until March 28, 2014.  Comments may be submitted via:

email:  kgray@a2gov.org
fax:  734.994.1744- attn: Kerry Gray
mail:  301 E. Huron St., PO Box 8647, Ann
Arbor, MI 48107- attn: Kerry Gray

Paper copies of the draft plan are available upon request.  Please contact Kerry
Gray at kgray@a2gov.org or 734.794.6430 x

Kris Olsson

Kris directs the Bioreserve Project, which aims to identify and protect the watershed's most ecologically important remaining natural areas, and works with local communities in the Portage Creek watershed to keep the creek healthy. Kris enjoys being outdoors and cuddling on the couch with her three dogs (and her two daughters, oh yeah, and husband too!)

Latest posts by Kris Olsson (see all)

Anita Twardesky joins RiverUp!

LinkedIn profile imageThe Huron River Watershed Council is pleased to announce that  Anita Twardesky has joined the RiverUp! initiative as Trail Towns Coordinator. Anita will guide the five largest communities on the river – Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Flat Rock – in becoming Trail Towns, trailside and gateway communities that are true recreational destinations. The Huron River Water Trail is a project of RiverUp!, the initiative to make the Huron River a new “Main Street” for the river towns where residents and tourists recreate, live, commute, do business, and treasure their riverfronts.

Anita is an experienced and respected recreation and trails professional. She  also serves as Public Relations & Community Outreach for Riverside Kayak Connection in Wyandotte where she is responsible for promoting outdoor recreation, paddlesports, and the ecotourism in the region. Previously, she served as Parks & Recreation Director for the cities of Woodhaven and Flat Rock. Her appointments include co-chair of the Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, Chair of the Trails Committee for the Michigan Recreation & Parks Association, and a member of the State Wide Advisory Group Michigan Water Trails.

The Huron River Water Trail is a 104-mile inland paddling trail connecting people to the river’s natural environment, its history, and the communities it touches in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The Huron River Water Trail is a consortium of interested groups and communities, and is a project of the Huron River Watershed Council and RiverUp!.

Now Showing: Portaging Argo Dam


Portaging Argo Dam is a bit of a challenge.  Do you float the cascades, or walk your watercraft around them and the dam?


This video, developed for the Huron River Water Trail, will give the proper directions for your trip! And hopefully it will make you laugh a little bit too. Make sure your sound is on!


The Huron River Water Trail website contains many useful trip planning tools to guide you on your next paddling excursion. The website include online maps, a store to purchase the waterproof  Paddler’s Companion, tips on river safety and trail etiquette, real-time river flows, fishing updates, and suggested itineraries.

Your New Resource for Water Trail Trip Planning

Welcome to the virtual launch for the new Huron River Water Trail website!

HRWT_newweb_screenshot-300x275The new online tool, seven months in the making, offers a nearly complete Water Trail experience . . . minus the water.

While nothing beats trying out the site for yourself, here’s a sample of what to expect:

  • Clean, user-friendly interactive trip planning maps
  • Extensive trail amenities – where to grab a sandwich? where to pitch a tent? what activities are happening in the Trail Towns?
  • Real-time weather and stream flow information
  • Outfitters with canoe and kayak rentals
  • And much, much more

Are you looking for a lazy float on flat water or a chance to try your whitewater skills? Flat water, flowing river, portages, and other trail features are all mapped with recommended trips to last a few hours to a few days. Investigate the distance, time, level of difficulty, highlights, and more for each recommended trip.

The trail information and graphics complement the new Paddler’s Companion, the indispensable waterproof map book for the Huron River Water Trail. Get your own copy today!

Help us spread the word about the new planning tool for the Huron River Water Trail. Use it to plan your next trip! Tell you friends and family! And become a part of it by sharing your observations and photos.

HRWC acknowledges the planning and design team of The Greenway Collaborative, Inc. and Imageweaver Studio, the Partners of the Huron River Water Trail for their review and recommendations, and the support of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Erb Family Foundation, and the many partners of RiverUp!.

Huron River Water Trail Partners Meeting

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
Date: 2013-03-05
End Time: 11:30


New report highlights public-private partnership

For the past year and some change, HRWC has been partnering with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Office, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the Wolfpack to spark a river renaissance known as RiverUp! Our goal is a vibrant, robust and restored river that’s a destination for residents and tourists.

Learn about the ambitious renaissance underway for the Huron River.

Download the full-color report to read about year one accomplishments and the plans for the next three years:

  • Making investments in river recreation with the Huron River Water Trail
  • Stimulating local economies and improving the river’s health by remediating legacy pollution sites and locating river-friendly businesses along its shore
  • Transforming the river corridor through linkages of hike-bike trails, art trails, natural areas and vital downtowns

Grab a paddle and join us in this boat. There’s room enough for everyone.

Photo: Huron River by Barbara Eckstein.

Aaaand, we’re off! First portage of many to be improved

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 new Water Trail signs

New sign announces the Superior Dam portage.

Check out these stories from Concentrate Media and Ann Arbor.com.

University of Michigan Releases Annual Sustainability Report

The University of Michigan’s Office of Campus Sustainability has just released its 2011 Annual Sustainability Report.

Covering more than 170 environmental metrics, the report presents the university’s impact on the environment while highlighting examples of stewardship and sustainability efforts taking place throughout the Ann Arbor campus. Highlights from this year’s report include:

  • The completion of the Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment
  • An announcement in September by President Mary Sue Coleman of five goals aimed to guide the university’s efforts at reducing environmental impact through the key themes of climate change, waste prevention, healthy environments, and community awareness.
  • An 8 percent reduction in energy use and a corresponding utility cost savings of $3.8 million annually in 71 buildings.
  • Waste reduction efforts resulting in a 3 percent drop in total waste production and a decrease in per-person trash levels of nearly 4 percent from fiscal year 2010.

Print versions of the report can be obtained by contacting Barbara Hagan.

Trail Clearing with New Friends

Participants in the YMCA's Youth Volunteer Corps and their counselors at the Superior portage

We’re grateful for the help of the dedicated group from the YMCA Ann Arbor’s Youth Volunteer Corps who joined HRWC staff to clear a canoe and kayak portage trail. Fourteen hard-working and good-natured youth and their counselors grabbed work gloves and loppers to open up the portage trail at the Superior dam on the Huron River. We were impressed with their tenacity and tolerance for mosquito bites.

We anticipate big changes over the next few months at this work site as a new trail is created, better signage is installed, and the boat landing and launch are improved. Until then, paddlers on the Huron need to be able to portage their boats and the work of the Youth Volunteer Corps will make that possible.

Michigan Protects Rivers, Lakes with New Fertilizer Legislation

Nuisance algae blooms harm people and wildlife

We did it!

We are celebrating yesterday’s passage of Michigan phosphorus fertilizer legislation that will go a long way toward protecting the Huron River and its lakes and streams from nuisance algae blooms that can result from excess phosphorus entering our freshwaters. The Huron River Watershed Council began advocating for this legislation eight years ago with Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Janis Bobrin and the City of Ann Arbor. THANK YOU to the bill’s primary sponsor Rep. Terry Brown, and Rep. Rebekah Warren, Chair of the House Great Lakes and Environment Committee, and the state legislators who voted in favor of the legislation 2:1.

The bill will amend Part 85 (Fertilizers) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to do the following (partial list):

– Prohibit the use of fertilizer containing available phosphate, beginning January 1, 2012, except to correct a phosphorus deficiency or establish new turf grass, or by trained staff at a golf course, and require the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) to approve a training program.

– Establish regulations for the application of any fertilizer near water (a 10 ft buffer will be in effect where no fertilizer can be applied) , as well as the cleaning of a fertilizer spreader.

– Require a person who released fertilizer on an impervious surface to take certain actions, and prohibit the application of fertilizer on frozen or saturated soil.

– Provide that the preemption of local fertilizer ordinances under Part 85 would not apply to an ordinance in effect on the bill’s effective date that regulated or prohibited the application to turf of fertilizer containing available phosphate.

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