A renaissance for the Huron River does not happen overnight. We have the benefit of partnering with action-oriented, outcome-focused groups and individuals to advance the considerable work that’s already being done for the Huron River.
Fix Up – Invest in river recreation infrastructure
Desired Outcome: The number and quality of projects that encourage and increased river-based recreation and river corridor investments (public and private) will increase.
Canoeing, kayaking, biking, walking, and fishing are among the many pursuits that people enjoy along the Huron. Much can be done to improve access to the river and riverfront for passive and active uses. Municipal, county, and regional agencies have developed extensive trail and park systems that provide access and venues for these activities with plans for more. RiverUp! augments these projects with particular attention to the five Trail Towns of (listed from upstream to downstream) Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Flat Rock.
- Island Park Canoe and Kayak Access Improvement (Ann Arbor, MI)
- Superior Dam Portage Improvement (Superior Township, MI)
- Huron River Water Trail Trip Planning Tools (Paddler’s Companion Map Book and Online Trip Planning Site)
Clean Up – Improve the river’s ecological health
Desired Outcome: The total area and number of riverfront and in-stream restoration and protection efforts will increase
All of our hopes and aspirations for the Huron River depend on its ecological health. Cleaning up contaminated areas and restoring river flows and impacted shorelines will help us get there. Remediating legacy pollution sites will require public-private partnerships and creative funding mechanisms. Restoring shorelines and river flows results from adaptive dam operations, selective dam removal, and otherwise clearing impediments to free-flowing water.
- DTE Gas property at Broadway Street on the Huron River (Ann Arbor)
- Environmental Flows for the Huron River System
Build Up – Turn our communities to face the river
Desired Outcome: New and diverse partners will be engaged in RiverUp! projects
RiverUp! envisions the river as the new Main Street for the communities through which it flows. Historically, communities turned away from the river by building with the backs of their buildings facing the river. No wonder, considering there was a time when the river was used primarily for waste disposal, industry, and transportation of livestock. A cleaner river means communities are embracing their spot on a Michigan natural treasure. Transforming the river corridor means linking river towns via water trails, greenways, and even art trails to vibrant downtowns. Imagine spending a weekend staying at B&Bs, dining at waterfront restaurants, visiting local museums and attending music festivals or art fairs. When combined with a robust higher education environment, including a world-class university, the rich talent pool it attracts could be a powerful stimulus to our regional economy.