Grants: Water Resources

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Wickes Park EZ Launch

Dec 2018

The City of Saginaw, in collaboration with Saginaw County Parks and Recreation and the Cass River Greenway plan to revitalize the Wickes Park launch site, the 13th and final stop on the Cass River Water Trail. The addition of the Wickes Park site as the final stop on the Cass River Water Trail adds the final leg of the water trail from the Cass River launch on M-13 to Wickes Park, a paddle which includes traveling through the Shiawassee Wildlife Refuge corridor as well as the Shiawassee River convergence with the Tittabawasee River, at the southern end of the Saginaw River. This revitalization will include the installation of an EZ Launch all-access system (similar to all-access facilities supported in the past by WIN on the Tittabawassee and Cass), Cass River Water Trail map signage and an interpretive sign. The Cass River Greenway’s addition of the Wickes Park launch site as the 13th and final access point on the Cass River Water Trail included the City of Saginaw in the already numerous municipal cooperative efforts involved in making the water trail possible. This regional synergy will provide environmental and recreational benefits for generations to come. Additionally, the location of the Wickes Park launch site provide future opportunities for the location to serve as the end point of the Tittabawassee River Trail and the starting point of the Saginaw

Shiawassee River Access at Fish Lake Road

Dec 2018

This project seeks funding to improve a site along the upper Shiawassee River by installing an access point, signage, and traffic safety improvements. Proposed by Headwaters Trails, the site is a key point in the upper stretch of river that is part of the proposed state/national water trail from Holly to Chesaning along the Shiawassee. The WIN funds are proposed to match a pending grant from the MDNR Recreation Passport program. The site was purchased by Headwaters Trail with local fundraising and this funding will support the access improvements. The site has also been identified as a key recreational amenity in the Holly Township Master Recreation Plan linking the river access with walking trails and connection to the Village of Holly and Seven Lakes State Park.

Chippewa River Canoe/Kayak Access Site

Dec 2018

Under development by the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, this site will be located in a 24-mile gap along the Chippewa River that currently has no access. The Chippewa River Canoe/Kayak Access Site will open up an underutilized section of the Chippewa River for activities such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing and wildlife viewing. Located 10 minutes east of Mt. Pleasant, MI and 20 minutes west of Midland, MI, Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's (CWC) 3.4 acre Stephen and Agnes Szok Riverbend Preserve protects a high bluff of mature forest land and 1,000 feet of important riparian corridor. The moderate pace of the current on this section of river offers excellent paddling opportunities, but the lack of adequate public access has resulted in minimal use of the this outstanding resource. Boulders and large woody debris offer outstanding habitat for smallmouth bass, bald eagles, river otters and great blue herons. The steep embankment at the site requires infrastructure for appropriate utilization, and the site will also include stairs, a launch platform and informational kiosk.

City of Gladwin Cedar River Access Site Improvements

Dec 2018

Proposed by the City of Gladwin, this proposal contemplates improvements at a city park area that is experiencing increased use as a put-in / take-out site along the Cedar River. The project would be located in the City Park, adjacent to downtown and will include the development of an access platform similar to projects funded by WIN along the Cass and Shiawassee Rivers. Because of increased use and requests for use, the City of Gladwin Parks Dept began a float tube rental program and in the last two year rented nearly 200 tube/trips down the river. The park is the main site for that activity and also hosts hundred of canoe/kayak trips annually. However, the site is not properly designed for this increased use, so the City is raising funds for these improvements

Au Gres Harbor Kayak Launch and Access Improvements

Dec 2018

Proposed by the City of Au Gres, the Au Gres Harbor ADA Kayak Launch is part of an ongoing series of improvements at the Au Gres Harbor of Refuge site which also includes a farmer’s market pavilion, splash pad, fishing access and more. This site provides access to over 50 miles of Lake Huron frontage, as well as 150 miles of river. The proposed ADA Kayak launch located on the Au Gres River in the City of Au Gres is centrally located for easy access to the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron connecting to the Blue Water Trail project. This water route was created in 2013 and is underutilized due to the lack of publicity in this area and the lack of a safe secure launch to support paddlers of any kind. Access to these bodies of water will give participants the experience to view the many waterfowl and wildlife along the northern coastline of Saginaw Bay and the Au Gres River system. The ADA Kayak launch is planned as the first phase of developing the area into a kayak destination. The City of Au Gres has three other parcels of riverfront property available for future development in creating a quick in/out and rest stop for kayakers and canoeists. These sites are also included in the community master plan. Securing an ADA Kayak Launch is crucial to the overall project because silent water activities are the largest sector in the tourism industry for Arenac County

Sanford Lake Livery

Jun 2018

Sponsored by the Midland County Parks and Recreation Commission, this effort seeks to establish a new canoe/kayak livery at Sanford Lake Park.  Canoe / kayaking / paddleboard is the largest growing segment of watersports and water-based recreation in the country.  This effort will allow for the purchase of kayaks and paddleboards for the facility, as well as lockable racks, lifejackets, and associated equipment that is required for safe and fun paddling adventures.  From WIN’s perspective, this effort will allow for additional use of our water resources and hopefully encourage people to support our waterways, and the protection/conservation of waterways at this site, and beyond Sanford Lake.

Village of Vernon Access Site

Jun 2018

Sponsored by the Village of Vernon, this effort proposes the development of an improved kayak launch in Vernon, along the Shiawassee River.  Identified as part of the proposed Shiawassee National Water Trail, this site is located north of the Shiatown launch (a site of a recent WIN-funded dam removal).  Partners include the Friends of the Shiawassee and the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition.  In addition to the sweeping multi-site plan for the Shiawassee River, this was uniquely identified in the village’s recently completed Vernon Downtown Revitalization Strategy as a new opportunity for eco-tourism and downtown attraction.  This launch is the first step in a larger effort that also includes a non-motorized trail as well.  

Saginaw Bay Area Lake Sturgeon Restoration, Education and Outreach

Jun 2018

 Saginaw Bay WIN has made multiple investments over the years in habitat restoration projects across the Saginaw Bay Watershed.  Many of these have been designed to impact key fisheries species considered high value from a historical or recreational perspective, though all habitat work impacts all species positively.  In most cases, the target species have been the State threatened Lake Sturgeon and walleye.  Habitat and habitat-related projects have included nearly a dozen dam removals and fish passage projects, investments in fish monitoring at passage sites, sturgeon population research, reef habitat restoration, and more.  Because of this work and other projects, in 2017, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) began the process of reestablishing sturgeon in the Saginaw River system (which is listed as having an existing population below the Minimum Viable Population threshold) by planting 500+ young sturgeon in the Tittabwassee River.  The DNR expects to plant 1000 sturgeon yearly, for the next 20 years.  This proposal will begin the public education / appreciation effort for this new and unique program by partnering with MSU extension on the effort to create an Adopt-A-Sturgeon Pilot Program, Sturgeon in the Classroom, Educational Materials, Outreach Events, and a regional Lake Sturgeon Roundtable.  

Au Gres Stormwater Project: Phase I

Dec 2017

Under the direction of Huron Pines, and in cooperation with the City of Au Gres, this project is designed to create awareness and build local capacity for the long-term protection of water quality and the sustainability of the local community. To achieve this goal, Huron Pines will follow the same model that was successful in the nearby communities of West Branch and Rose City also funded with WIN support. That is to educate the local community about stormwater; document the extent of stormwater runoff issues; propose Best Management Practices to address the problems; generate cost estimates; prepare initial tasks; and assist with community efforts to seek financing for stormwater BMPs where appropriate. In addition to completing a stormwater report and presenting that to the City Council, this project will involve the local school and the business community in order to help raise awareness and create future buy in for taking action steps. Stormwater and associated sedimentation are considered to be the major source of pollution to Saginaw Bay, and engaging communities (especially small communities such as AuGres who do not fall under the same regulations as larger communities) is an important step in preserving and protecting water quality. Similar efforts in West Branch and Rose City have resulted in major projects and have leveraged hundreds of thousands of dollars through the process

Regional Promotion of Flint River Water Trail

Dec 2017

At 142 miles long and covering parts of Lapeer, Genesee, and Saginaw Counties, the Flint River has become an increasingly popular destination for paddlers. This effort, proposed by Genesee County Parks in cooperation with local partners, seeks to develop a logo and branding for the trail, develop a regional map for the trail, complete printed brochures, and implement a FRWT signage program. The project addresses three key needs of the Flint River and region. First the project builds off the "It's Not the River" campaign which was effective in educating residents and the public that the Flint River water crisis was not a Flint River issue. Second, the project seeks to promote the Flint River Restoration Project (of which WIN is an investor at the Hamilton Dam removal) and its significance in opening the river for paddling and recreational activities.

Saginaw Street Landing, South Branch Flint River

Dec 2017

Coordinated by the Six Rivers Land Conservancy, this projects seeks to transform an unimproved road shoulder access into a formal river access site for the purposes of public access and paddling opportunities along the Flint River Water Trail. At this site, people are currently able to park and launch kayaks/canoes, but it is an unsafe situation. This project plans create a driveway and parking area at this 5-acre site that will provide better access to the river, as well as serve as the prelude to the completion of an improved launch area. The parking area will also eliminate an erosion situation occurring at the shoulder, as well as allow broader access for schools who are currently using the site for education and water quality analysis purposes. The site will also serve as a key "upstream" launch site on the Flint River Water Trail. SRLC is leading the fundraising and coordinating efforts under agreement with Lapeer County Parks / Department of Public Works.

Regional Marketing of the Cass River Water Trail

Jun 2017

Proposed by Cass River Greenway (CRG), this project will not only increase the online presence of the Cass River Greenway, but also provide on-the-ground interpretive and mapping kiosks for the project. Since its inception in 2007, CRG has developed more that 10 access points linking communities, worked to improve water quality, increased and improved habitat, establish annual river cleanups, fostered recreational opportunities and recently led the effort to apply for National Water Trail designation. This project will support, in part, the development of an interactive website that will highlight the water trail and the Cass River, as well as provide for updated river kiosks that are placed at access sites along the water trail. The maps have a uniform look and feel that provides consistence regardless of the access site.