Matt Lafleur has deep roots to the river! HRWC’s brand new board chair is a husband, father, fisherman, hunter, kayaker, forager, gardener, beekeeper, and lifelong resident of the watershed. Matt was raised in South Rockwood, where he and his wife Becky also raised their own sons. Recently retired, Matt was the Senior Airfield Operations Manager at Detroit Metro Airport, managing animal habitat, wetlands, and environmental quality monitoring.

Matt Lafleur, HRWC Board Chair
Matt fishes the downriver section of the Huron River. Credit: M. Lafleur

Joining the HRWC board in 2011, Matt reflected at the time, “I want the local community to take ownership of the resources in Southeast Michigan and understand that they can make a difference in the health of the river and the environment.” He certainly embodies this sentiment in many ways; Matt brought his kids to HRWC’s benthic monitoring events, is a Water Trail Ambassador, and serves on the Suds Host Committee. He also shares his connection to nature with local gardening and fishing clubs and helps HRWC coordinate river cleanups.

Matt became board chair in 2021. He hopes to grow HRWC’s impact, noting, “Education is our most important work.” Matt is passionate about getting outdoors with kids—he loves getting his hands dirty, hunting for frogs and snakes and teaching children about growing their own food. Matt invites you to join him in spreading HRWC’s impact in your community, getting to know all areas of the river, and says, “Visit the downriver section of the watershed for a beautiful paddle from Lower Huron or Willow Metropark, or experience the fun of fishing for steelhead, small mouth bass, or walleye.”

—Wendy Palms and Jason Frenzel

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