The Huron River’s beauty and quality is due largely to the wetlands, forests, and grasslands that soak up rainwater to prevent flooding and erosion; store and release groundwater that supplies the Huron with clear, cool, constant recharge water; pull carbon out of Earth’s atmosphere; and filter polluted runoff before it can foul the river.

Who holds the key to protecting the remaining natural areas in the Huron?

People standing around a table looking at a map
Planning for the future and connecting corridors: Green stormwater infrastructure planning meeting with residents of the Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township (May 2022)

Over 65 different townships, villages, cities, and counties have jurisdiction within the Huron River watershed. These local governments, through their master plans and zoning ordinances, determine the location, density, and design of all the different land uses that will be built in the future. HRWC works with local governments throughout the watershed to enact river friendly master plans and ordinances.

You too can be a Change Maker in your community!

Every local government needs board members and planning commissioners with some land use planning and water resources know-how to ensure that all local governments in the Huron watershed have river friendly policies like buffer requirements.

HRWC will be holding Change Makers Boot Camps this February and March to gather those who would like to encourage their local government to enact river friendly policies. Participants can choose any level of involvement with their local government, from commenting of specific developments and ordinances to getting appointed to the planning commission to running for election to the board. We will teach you everything you need to know to step up!

Anybody willing to attend meetings and become familiar with local planning and water quality issues can become a member of their local government. Change Maker Sally Rutzky started her involvement by volunteering to be a member of the local library board; as a planning commissioner, she convinced her township to adopt several water quality protection policies. Kate Mehuron attended HRWC’s boot camp in Chelsea, after which she joined the city’s sustainability committee, and eventually was elected to city council.

If you would like to join those learning how to protect the Huron by engaging their local governments, please register below for one of our upcoming, FREE Boot Camps:

February 23, 6-8 pm Belleville Library, 167 4th St, Belleville

This Boot Camp will cover our Boot Camp basics plus a special focus on the Belleville area’s local municipalities–how they function and how the public can influence policies that protect Belleville Lake, the river, and other waterways.

March 15, 6-8 pm, On Zoom

This Boot Camp will cover our Boot Camp basics with a broader focus on jurisdictions throughout the watershed. By the end of this workshop, you’ll have a strong grasp of how local governments manage local water–what they can and cannot do and what you can do to voice your views and influence policy.