A man with a profound appreciation for the Huron River

John Langs, The Riverman
The John Langs Fund continues John’s legacy of river protection. Photo: R. Langs

Having lived 25 years of his life on the “Mighty Huron”, as John Langs liked to call it, he was passionate about water and wilderness. He was drawn to the constant movement of the water. He was fascinated by the many species thriving above and below the surface. He intuitively understood that the health of the ecosystem is vitally important. John knew this and acted on it long before climate change became the concern it is today.

John and his son Henry participated in HRWC’s Stonefly Searches. Henry recollects, “Dad really cared about the river. We went out in the middle of winter to check for stonefly populations in the stream. We would turn the rocks over and over. They were hard to find, but dad would say, if we find some, that’s all that matters.”

John loved to explore with Ruth, his wife. Together, they identified many different turtles—maps, painteds, snapping, and Blanding’s. They explored gar habitats. They watched incredible birds, including bald eagles, hooded mergansers, coots, trumpeter swans, and kingfishers. “My love of the river came from John’s adventurous spirit,” Ruth shared.

John was a do-er and a person of service. He served on HRWC’s board for 12 years and was constantly teaching others about the value of our wild spaces with his infectious love of nature. This is what the John Langs River Fund represents. We are grateful to those who continue to support this fund in the spirit of John Langs, The Riverman. He would be thrilled to know that we will continue to take good care of our fresh water and wild habitats for generations.

—Wendy Palms

This blog post was originally published March 1st in the Huron River Report, Spring 2022.