Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Expanding the Paddling on Shiawassee River

The information was provided by Sara McDonnell,
Project Coordinator for the Center for Applied Environmental Research
at the University of Michigan - Flint.

"We want to promote the Shiawassee River as a water trail and
encourage people to kayak and canoe close to home," McDonnell said.

The first phase of the project undertaken by Headwaters Trails,
which runs by the Shiawassee River from Holly to Fenton, is already underway.
Their successes include installation of a canoe/kayak launch site,
development of a signage program, annual Holly to Fenton canoe races
and regular river cleanups and paddle trips.
Headwaters Trails is led by Sue Julian and Doug Lanyk.

"The Holly to Fenton section is being managed by Headwaters Trails.

They've already identified launches, emergency takeouts, and where signs need to be installed.

That's the first phase of the Shiawassee River trail," McDonnell said.

"There's funding secured for the signs from Holly to Fenton."

McDonnell also said because of the progress made in the first phase,

Southern Lakes Planning Initiative has taken on the next stretch of the river, from Fenton to Argentine.

"We'll be pursuing funding for signs from Fenton to Argentine this winter," she said.

McDonnell said a group, made up of representatives from Headwaters Trails,

Fenton Area Paddlers, Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation, the cities of Linden and Fenton,

Argentine Township, interested residents, teachers, individuals from the University of Michigan-Flint,

and those interested in the outdoors, met last April.

"(They) discussed the potential of extending the Shiawassee River Heritage Trial in Oakland County,

west through Genesee County by creating signage, recreation-based business, and continued river cleanups," she said.

Mayor David Lossing said people on the trail could stop at the launches and visit the different areas, grabbing a bite to eat on the way.

He said the city would do anything they could to help out this effort which would have a positive impact on the economy.

Councilor Ray Culbert said he thinks it's an excellent idea.

"(It would) really spur the growth of the economy," he said.

"It's such a wonderful asset, creating a regional trail," said Christopher Wren, city manager. "It's a phenomonal idea."

For more information regarding the river trail, visit
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