Posts Tagged ‘Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation’

Run for HRWC at the Big Foot Small Print Trail Run

4-Mile Trail Run and 1-Mile Kids’ Fun Run

Saturday, September 30, 2017Big Foot Small Print Trail Run
Independence Lake County Park

Are you a runner? Or a walker?  Do you like beautiful trails, fall color, and helping your favorite watershed council (that would be us) AND supporting Washtenaw County Parks? We have the event for you! The Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission is partnering with the Huron River Watershed Council in the Big Foot Small Print Trail Run to support healthy and vibrant communities in Washtenaw County.

Your $35 ($40 after September 18) entry fee lets you enjoy a beautiful fall morning at Independence Lake County Park while running or kids-mile-startwalking a scenic 4-mile course. Also on offer – a 1 mile kid’s fun run/walk for children of all ages, for just $10 ($15 after September 17), so bring the whole family! Park entry fee is included in the registration for both county residents and non-residents. Sign up on the county parks website (click the “Browse Activities” link and search using keyword “run“).

“Running? Uphill both ways? Not me!” you might be saying. We need volunteers too! Contact Hannah Cooley, at or (734)971-6337 x 319. Lots of fun jobs from helping with registration and packet pick-up to handing medals to racers at the finish.

News to Us

Many breweries in the area rely on Huron River water.  Credit: John Lloyd

Many breweries in the area rely on Huron River water. Credit: John Lloyd

In local news, listen to radio interviews with two HRWC staff  on our environmental education work and the addition of a new dock at Peninsular Park.  A new report identifies nature as a best defense against severe storms and flooding.  Also, land and water conservation is on the ballot throughout the nation and craft brewers are uniting around clean water.

Mother Nature Offers Best Defense From Floods and Storms Mother Nature is one of the best defenses against damage from large storms and flooding.  Protecting our forests and wetlands provides benefits far beyond beauty and biodiversity.  A recent National Wildlife Federation report explores the benefits of land protection as a flood control strategy. HRWC’s Bioreserve Program, Green Infrastructure initiatives and riparian buffer protections work all contribute to the watershed’s natural ability to lessen the impacts of storms in our area.

Freshwater Health: Caring for our rivers, lakes and streams and their aquatic inhabitants and surrounding communities WCBN’s It’s Hot in Here program this week includes three interviews on freshwater issues affecting the Great Lakes.  HRWC’s Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator Jason Frenzel discusses our education programs and community engagement beginning around the 45 minute mark.

Craft brewers join the fight against natural gas pipelines Craft brewers understand the importance of clean water. After all, beer is 90% water.  Brewers in the Huron River watershed have been great partners to HRWC over the years. This article highlights a national initiative to unite craft brewers around water quality issues. This article is an interesting read and highlights one of the many less obvious benefits of clean, plentiful water.

Voters Will Decide On Billions For Land Conservation  On Election Day, voters will be deciding whether or not to support land and water conservation throughout the nation. Some of the biggest initiatives are in California, Florida and New Jersey.  Many local level initiatives to support the preservation of open space are being put in front of voters as well. In fact, Washtenaw County residents will vote on a millage renewal for county parks.  The Washtenaw County Parks system has contributed parks, preserves and trails that improve recreational opportunities, erosion and stormwater control, pollution prevention and the beauty of our watershed. You can learn more about the county parks system in The History of Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission video.

New Dock For Ypsilanti’s Peninsular Park As part of the RiverUp! program, a new dock has been installed at Ypsilanti’s Peninsular Park replacing a dock that had fallen into disrepair making river access and recreation difficult. This is part of a larger initiative to encourage river and trail recreation in the Huron River watershed, particularly in five “Trail Towns” along the Huron River Water Trail including Ypsilanti.

Washtenaw County Parks Wants YOU!

Take a survey to help inform the Parks and Recreation Commission master plan.

You’re on the golf course, and you’re about to take your next shot. Your eyes narrow on the flag. You take a few deep breaths and let them out. Listen to the wind and the birds sing. You swing your club and it whistles through the air. Your friend shakes his head. He knows he lost yet another round. You look around and glory in your success. Isn’t it great that you have this area in which you can play golf, enjoy the sun, and witness your friends lose? Now imagine if this didn’t exist…

The Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission is working on a master plan that acts as a guide to the development and operation of the county’s parks, preserves, and other recreational activities. Included in these activities are multiple recreation centers, water parks, and — you guessed it! — a golf course. In order to manage these areas to the best of their ability, they need information from you!

You can fill out their survey here:  Washtenaw County Parks Survey. By giving your feedback, YOU can have a direct say in how your parks will be managed.

Plus, you can enter a drawing to win one of several prizes. Five lucky participants will receive one of the following: a pass to the Rolling Hills Water Park or Independence Lake’s Blue Heron Bay Spray Zone; Yearly Vehicle Entry Pass; a round of golf at Pierce Lake Golf Course; or a day pass to the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center.

If you have any other questions or additional comments, you can contact Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation office via phone at 734-971-6337 or via email at

Huron River as running inspiration

For a small staff of 10, help we have more than our share of slightly obsessed runners. Conversations that contain phrases like “tempo run,” “PR,” “foam roller,” and “physical therapy” can be overheard most days. Thus, patient it was only a matter of time before one of us figured how to connect running with the river.

Enter the Olympics.

Anyone who follows track and field knows that Michigan boasts a considerable number of connections to the Olympians representing the U.S. and many other countries in the 2012 London Olympic Games — Dathan Ritzenhein (10,000 meters), Desi Davila (marathon), Todd Porter (110 meter hurdles), and Nick Willis (1,500 meters), to name a few. Nick Willis, the 1,500 meter silver-medalist in 2008 Beijing Olympics representing New Zealand, lives, trains, and coaches in Ann Arbor. When he recently shared his Favorite Running Spots in town via Facebook, we couldn’t help but notice that the Huron River and its tributaries figure prominently in the list. Names of the waterways are added in parentheses.

Ann Arbor residents: So many amazing places to run in town!
1 – River trails between Barton Dam and Main street Dam (Huron River)
2 – Bird Hills (Huron River)*
3 – Arboretum (Huron River)
4 – Trails from Leslie Science Center to North Park (Traver Creek)
5 – Radrick Golf Course (Fleming Creek)
6 – Lillie Park
7 – County Farm Park (Malletts Creek)
8 – Eberwhite Woods (Allens Creek)
9 – Gallup Park (Huron River)
10 – Dirt roads behind Barton Hills (Huron River)
11 – Pioneer HS Cross Country course connecting to trails across 7th Street
That’s not even counting all the State Parks within a 25 minute drive (Island Lake, Brighton, Maybury).

Can we claim that healthy rivers make elite track and field athletes? Perhaps not. But rivers sure make for better training runs (and casual walks) for the aesthetic and spiritual inspiration they lend.

Hope to see you enjoying the river and our local creeks during your next workout. You may even spot an Olympian if you can make out the blur that just passed you.

* Blogger’s note: Personal experience compels me to tell you to watch for sneaky tree roots.

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