Monday, July 30, 2012

Pushing the River Trail north July 29, 2012

From: Chuck Julian
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2012 11:35 AM
Subject: River cleanup results Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photos -

Headwaters Trails volunteers met at 9:00 at Bird Road and reopened the river to Duffield Road. We were not able to go further on down the river from Duffield as it was 2:15 when we go there and had only scheduled to work till 2:00. The river is clear for canoes and kayaks at the current water level. This is an area that the tornado went through in 2007. We cut passage ways through the downed trees last year, which took two long work days with a lot of people.

This time, we had 13 people who cut, dragged and tied debris to clear the river as well as trimmed the face slappers. There are a couple of areas that the water is shallow enough that you may need to get out and walk, but most of the river can be navigated by water. We did not clear the river of trees. We cut passage ways through the downed trees and left the logs tied to the banks where possible to provide shore protection and fish habitat. There are very few houses that back up to the river, meaning that it is scenic and has a wild feel to it. All of the turns to go through the passages mean that it is not a boring trip. If the water drops more, there may be some logs that show up which we could not cut this time because they were well below the surface. We would rather not cut them if it is not necessary.

We pulled several car tires plus one over sized tire that must have been on a monster truck or something of that sort, a porcelain toilet, a mail box that had the flag up, though there was no mail in it, various bottles, cans, plastic food wrappers, grating and other miscellaneous debris. We pulled most of the junk we could find out of the river. There is one very old washing machine in the water that we could not get out. There are a few cinder blocks and there was some additional debris in this spot, where the washing machine is at, further up the bank. All of that would be better addressed from the land as opposed to from the river.

Tom Larson, who lives at the river and Duffield Road not only allowed us to take out on his property, he let us drive down to the river to remove our boats and gear and he took all the trash up with his tractor and put it out for pickup. Thank you Tom! After the cleanup, we met at Ricky Ostrowski's house where he, his mother and his grandmother served us hamburgers, fruit salad, pasta salad and lots of hospitality.
I believe that everyone greatly enjoyed the meal and the company.
The river cleanup was a lot of fun and enjoyed by all.

 Many thanks to our wonderful crew, Rex Mathewson, Sue Julian, Steve Hoffman, David Spaine, John MacBeth, Gordon Gillam, Ricky Ostrowski, Burt Bilbrey, Karen Monetta and her friend Mary, and Dennis Terry. Maggie Yerman loaned us a kayak, even though she was not able to come on the cleanup. Karen Monetta has posted photos of the cleanup on her facebook page.

Since we did not get to Byron, we are scheduling another cleanup for Sunday August 12, 2012, starting at 9:00 am and going to 2:00 pm. This time, we will meet at Duffield Road and the river. We will see how far we can get. Again, the goal is to clean all the way to the Byron Mill pond, a distance of about 2.5 miles by river. I don't have any scouting reports that say how bad it is but I can see it potentially taking another cleanup to make it. It would be really great to get it done for this year's paddlers. This will leave the river clear from Waterworks Park in Holly, all the way to Saginaw Bay.

If you can come, please call me or send me an email. If you can come, please let me know if you have a boat or need to ride with someone. Rowboats and canoes are always a plus because of the amount of gear we bring and the amount of junk we pull out of the water. If you have a chainsaw, please bring it. Otherwise, there is plenty of work to do even without a chainsaw. It is best to wear hard soled shoes or boots in the river. You never know what you may step on in water stirred up by a group walking in the water. If it is sunny, you may want sun screen and a hat. Gloves are a good idea because you don't want to get cut by a piece of trash. As usual, I will bring a rowboat, chainsaws, cables for securing logs, a cooler full of drinks for all and a plan to have fun.

 If you live in the area of the cleanup and are willing to host us after the cleanup, please let me know. Headwaters Trails has a meeting Wednesday August 1, 2012 at the Holly Village Council Chambers, starting at 7:00. You are all welcome to come! If you need a new copy of the minutes for the last meeting, please let me know.  

Headwaters Trails, Inc.
 P.O. Box 33 Holly, MI 48442-0033 

Sue Julian, President: 248-634-3513 
Doug Lanyk, Vice-President: 248-634-4551

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