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  • Tuesday, November 08, 2022 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The link below is great resource for those who love to fish in Michigan rivers. Check page 67 to see which Shiawassee River fish you can safely eat and how often.

    https://www.michigan.gov/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Folder2/Folder70/Folder1/Folder170/MDCH_EAT_SAFE_FISH_GUIDE_-_SOUTHEAST_MI_WEB.pdf?rev=1226fe9fe87c43d0b24ba48ee5423b88

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2022 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 25, 2022 - OWOSSO, MI – The second annual Shiawassee Triathlon took place in Owosso and Corunna last weekend, May 22, through the combined efforts of the Fitness Coliseum and Friends of the Shiawassee River. Thanks to the generous event sponsors, 212 individual participants, 17 relay teams, over 100 volunteers (more than half being repeat volunteers from last year), and all those who came down to cheer everyone on, the event was a great success! Participants ran from the Fitness Coliseum in downtown Owosso to McCurdy Park in Corunna, where they entered the water and paddled back toward Owosso. In the last leg of the event, triathletes exited the river on Jerome Avenue, near the NCG movie theater (with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers) and continued to the biking portion in the streets south of Owosso - finishing the race where they started, at the Fitness Coliseum. 

    A total of 233 people participated in the race, ranging in age from 12 to 76. Racers traveled from cities all over Michigan, including Bay City, Royal Oak, Saugatuck and Grand Rapids (to name a few) and out of state participants traveled from Brecksville, OH, Chicago, IL, Chattanooga, TN, and Depew, NY. The finishing times for the race ranged from 1:23:54 to 3:06:16, so various levels of experience and competitiveness were welcomed and appreciated. 

    The winners of the event were as follows (for a full list of participant times, visit https://www.athlinks.com/event/330784/results/Event/1000499/Course/2248656/Results)

    Male Overall 

    First Place - Stephen Moelter with a time of 1:23:54 (see photo) 

    Female Overall

    Kali Bayes of Fort Gratiot, MI - 1:34:58 (see photo) 

    Youth M/F Age Group (ages 17 and younger) 

    First Place - Josie Jenkinson of Corunna, MI - 1:36:00 

    Second Place - Brady Robishaw of St. Charles, MI - 1:39:03 

    Third Place - David Peterson of Owosso, MI - 1:53:02 

    Male Age Group (ages 18-54) 

    First Place - David Madrigal II of Durand, MI - 1:26:08 

    Second Place - Ty Hart of Corunna, MI - 1:27:42 

    Third Place - Greg Jenkinson of Corunna, MI - 1:28:12 

    Female Age Group (ages 18-54) 

    First Place - Jennifer Zielinski of Essexville, MI - 1:40:37 

    Second Place - Kelly Turek of Owosso, MI - 1:41:48 

    Third Place - Jamie Madrigal of Mt. Pleasant, MI - 1:42:42 

    Masters M/F Age Group (ages 55 and older) 

    First Place - Derrick Fries of Clarkston, MI - 1:28:06 

    Second Place - Daniel Durany of Owosso, MI - 1:42:15 

    Third Place - Laura Meyer of Owosso, MI - 1:44:05 

    Relay 

    First Place - Josh’s 50 Year Revival - 1:39:48 

    Second Place - Young Olds of Owosso - 1:44:41 

    Third Place - Ron & The Schlaakers - 1:48:24 

    The date for the Shi-Tri in 2023 will be Sunday, May 21, so mark your calendars! 

    “We are so happy with our second year of the event!” said Brianna Carroll, owner/operator of Fitness Coliseum. “We made some tweaks to the race from last year that allowed things to run more smoothly. We had over 100 more participants on the course this year, and those participants came from farther and wider than last year! I can’t wait to continue improving and growing the event. The future of the Shi-Tri is looking great!” 

    Those sentiments were echoed by the co-host of the event, the Friends of the Shiawassee River. 

    "The Friends are thrilled that we were able to work with Brianna and Fitness Coliseum again this year tofacilitate this fun and exciting community event," said Rebecca Huska, Friends of the Shiawassee River'sEvents & Communications Coordinator. “Many thanks to all those who planned, participated, andvolunteered to make the second annual Shi-Tri a success. We look forward to seeing you all again next year!" 

    The race organizers would also like everyone to join in to thank this year’s sponsors – without whom this event would not be possible: Presenting Sponsor: Memorial Hospital; Run Sponsor: Norm Henry Shoes; Paddle Sponsor: RWI Manufacturing; Ride Sponsor: Byk-Rak; Underwriting Sponsor: Woodworth Commercial; Experience Sponsor: Shiawassee Health & Wellness; Finish Line Sponsor: Crest Marine; Design Sponsor: Darker Mfg. Co.; the Shi~CHAMP Sponsors: Parson/Niles Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo, REMAX of Owosso, Team One Credit Union, Advanced Eye Care and Contact Lens Center; and the Shi~TRIBE Sponsors: American Recycling Center, Inc., Azee Printing Solutions, DayStarr Communications, Great Lakes Fusion, Hat Trick Tents & Events, Merit Laboratories, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition, Weather Vane Roofing.

    The Fitness Coliseum is a one-stop shop for fitness and wellness – focusing on providing fun, effective, and safe fitness classes to people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. They pride themselves on creating a supportive environment that lifts people up and encourages them to be the best they can be. 

    The Friends of the Shiawassee River is a 501©3 nonprofit organization governed by a local board of directors and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and generous donors. The mission of the Friends is to help the community Care, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River. The Friends are committed to improving the river environment and promoting the responsible use of/enhancing the appreciation of the River throughout its watershed. 



  • Wednesday, May 04, 2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 4, 2022 - OWOSSO, MI – The second ever Shiawassee Triathlon will take place on May 22, 2022, through the combined efforts of the Fitness Coliseum and Friends of the Shiawassee River. This year, registration will be capped at 250 participants, as opposed to 150 participants last year. There are only two participant spots available currently, but there are plenty of volunteer opportunities still available. “This event will really be made by the volunteers! Together we will be able to make it run smoothly and be fun for all involved. The best part about volunteering is that even if you aren’t a triathlete you still get to play a role in this amazing community day!” said Brianna Carroll, owner of the Fitness Coliseum. 

    An event like this relies on the efforts of over 100 volunteers – both the day of the event and the day before. So, even if you don’t fancy yourself as an athlete or even an out-of-doors enthusiast, there are plenty of ways to jump in and help. And all who help out will get a volunteer t-shirt as well. To register as a volunteer, visit 

    https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/MI/Owosso/TheShiTri. 

    The Shi~Tri is a Run/Paddle/Bike Triathlon beginning and ending in Downtown Owosso along the Shiawassee River. Participants begin with a 3.3-mile run/walk from the Fitness Coliseum

    (210 S Water Street, Owosso, MI) to McCurdy Park in Corunna along the James Miner Trail. From there, the triathletes will launch their kayaks or canoes into the river, paddle back 3.5 miles toward Owosso, and exit the river just before the intersection of S. Water and Washington Streets, behind the Huntington drive-thru Bank. The third leg of the event will have participants biking a 9-mile loop through Owosso’s city streets and country roads back to the triathlon’s starting point (Fitness Coliseum). 

    The race will start at 8am at the Fitness Coliseum parking lot. The awards ceremony will begin at approximately 12:30pm (also at the parking lot of the Fitness Coliseum) with awards for the following: Men’s Individual (18-54 y/o), Women’s Individual (18-54 y/o), Masters (55+, Male and Female Combined), Youth (<18, Male & Female Combined), Relay Team (All ages, All Relays Combined). There will also be one overall male award and overall female award. 

    Members of the community are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun! Those who would like to watch the race may watch from Downtown Owosso, McCurdy Park, or any other point along the route. There is no limit to the number of spectators who would like to see this exciting event, so bring your cowbells and be ready to cheer on the racers! Throughout the day, there will be vendors (including the new Bangin’ Bowls restaurant, that will operate out of the Fitness Coliseum building) and information tables in the Fitness Coliseum parking lot. And, as a special treat, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce will have a mimosa tent there as well! Public parking for the start/finish site will be in the municipal parking lot near NCG Cinema. 

    Further details on the whole event may be found at the Shi-Tri website at www.shi-tri.com. 

    The race organizers would also like everyone to join in to thank this year’s sponsors – without whom this event would not be possible: Presenting Sponsor: Memorial Hospital; Run Sponsor: Norm Henry Shoes; Paddle Sponsor: RWI Manufacturing; Ride Sponsor: Byk-Rak; Underwriting Sponsor: Woodworth Commercial; Experience Sponsor: Shiawassee Health & Wellness; Finish Line Sponsor: Crest Marine; Design Sponsor: Darker Mfg. Co.; the Shi~CHAMP Sponsors: Parson/Niles Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo, REMAX of Owosso, Team One Credit Union, Advanced Eye Care and Contact Lens Center; and the Shi~TRIBE Sponsors: American Recycling Center, Inc., Azee Printing Solutions, DayStarr Communications, Great Lakes Fusion, Hat Trick Tents & Events, Merit Laboratories, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition, Weather Vane Roofing. 

    ###

    The Fitness Coliseum is a one-stop shop for fitness and wellness – focusing on providing fun, effective, and safe fitness classes to people of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. They pride themselves on creating a supportive environment that lifts people up and encourages them to be the best they can be. 

    The Friends of the Shiawassee River is a 501©3 nonprofit organization governed by a local board of directors and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and generous donors. The mission of the Friends is to help the community Care, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River. The Friends are committed to improving the river environment and promoting the responsible use of/enhancing the appreciation of the River throughout its watershed.



  • Wednesday, April 20, 2022 2:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On April 29, 2022, Arbor Day, from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. a commemoration ceremony will be held at Shiatown Park to celebrate the completion of the Shiatown Dam Removal Project that began back in 2003. Speakers and those present will include representatives of the many parties involved throughout this process, including the Friends of the Shiawassee River, the State of Michigan, Saginaw Bay WIN, and Shiawassee County Representatives. The general public is invited to attend this ceremony. 


    In 2003, the Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) conducted a dam removal study with the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources. The reservoir behind the dam had filled in with silt over 100 years and was no longer a body of water fit for recreational use or generation of hydroelectric power. The scour pit below the downstream apron of the dam was 18 feet deep and with about a 60 foot diameter. The waters below the apron were characterized with unyielding roiling backwash that had trapped too many people, resulting in drownings. Public safety was an influential factor in the removal decision.


    The dam had reverted to the Michigan Land Bank (the dam owner) for back taxes and was considered an unsafe structure by the State Dam Safety Division. The Land Bank and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources enlisted the FOSR to engage the local community and search out grant funding for a potential project.


    In 2012 a $30,000 feasibility study, including partial reservoir drawdown and sediment analysis, was  conducted with grant and technical assistance from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Fisheries. In 2013 MDNR awarded a $162,700 grant for dam removal. This was supplemented by a $62,500 grant from Saginaw Bay WIN. FOSR then conducted stakeholder and community meetings in Bancroft, with the assistance of the Shiawassee Township Supervisor, to evaluate options and settle on a final design concept. This added upstream channel and floodplain restoration and aquatic habitat enhancements to the project scope. The WIN “match” funding allowed attainment of additional MDNR grant funding: including a $365,000 aquatic habitat grant in 2015 and a $108,000 supplemental dam management grant awarded in 2017.


    Plans and specifications were prepared by GEI Consultants with several iterations and extensive negotiations over 2 years to obtain the required Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit within budget. 


    In 2020 the dam removal and stream and floodplain restoration were completed by M.J. VanDamme, Inc. from Gwinn, Michigan. The total project cost was in excess of $730,000 with $635,700 in MDNR grants, $62,500 from Saginaw Bay WIN and over $35,000 in local volunteer support. This does not include the reforestation and Park enhancements, such as the small boat launch and expanded parking facility needed for the increased paddling on the now popular river stretch from Geeck Rd Park to Shiatown. 


     The river now flows briskly and freely through Shiatown and visibly demonstrates why early settlers grasped the significance of water power for sawmills and grist mills. The contractor’s final act was to seed a two-acre area to grasses, a stable yet barren landscape that the Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation Commission decided to reforest. It was to be returned to the forest that hadn’t been at that location since 1840, when Shiatown was a busy settlement which included a hotel, stores, and a post office. That project is to be completed on April 23, 2022, the day after Earth Day, with tree planting assistance from many parties, headed by the County Buildings and Grounds Department.


    The 20-year history of the deconstruction of this dam is a testimonial to persistence, coordination, and dedication from key individuals, engineers, private contractors and agencies. With a free flowing river, the macroinvertebrates (the base of the food chain for fisheries) and fish movements are unimpeded, as are the movements of fishers and paddlers. When a dam and reservoir lose relevance and compromise the valued character of a natural area, the actions of involved people, and strong general public support, effect positive change. This is a commendable story for a credible Midwest river and is being replicated all around our water wonderland that is Michigan.



  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021 2:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation Commission has announced its forthcoming project to reforest the two-acre area of the Shiatown Dam removal deconstruction site in Shiatown County Park.  Two planting days have been organized, the first on October 16th and the second in the spring when certain species of trees must await ground removal for transplanting.

    In all 90 trees and 90 shrubs will be planted streamside and within 200 feet of the Shiawassee River.  Mr. Jeff Tuller, Registered Forester and Phil Hathaway, volunteer project coordinator, prepared the plan that will involve 18 different tree species that promotes diversity for the new forest and recognition of a variety of adaptable plant zones.  Volunteers, Parks Commissioners and County staff will comprise the 40-person work crew.  Equipment and operators are donated.  A five-year watering plan, tree staking and fence guards are included in the long term maintenance of the trees until they become established naturally. 

    Project funding at $32,000 is from three sources at nearly equal amounts:  Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN), the Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR), and the Shiawassee County Waste Management Fund.  The Friends contribution is a result of the revenues earned from Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Department in its role as overseer of the dam removal.  All funds are from sources other than local tax dollars and recognize the need to plant trees especially in these times. Shiatown County Park offers a venue for leading the cause of applying natural climate solutions.

    “John Plowman, County Commission and Parks Commission member, states that, “The role of trees and selected shrubs greatly benefit habitat restoration, riverside erosion control, carbon neutrality, park-like shaded settings, wildlife benefits, and air quality.” Larry Johnson, also a Parks Commissioner adds, “There hasn’t been a forest here since the first dam was built in 1840.  With trees averaging two inch diameter trunk size at the outset, this woodlot will have a head start in restoring the barren construction zone riverside area to its natural state.” 

    Some volunteer positions for the projected 3-hour work session are still available for individuals who are capable and inclined to do landscaping work. All of the heavy lifting will be accomplished with mechanical equipment.  Interested persons may contact Phil Hathaway at philhath@gmail.com


  • Tuesday, August 17, 2021 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Local, state, and federal partners invite the public to a Lake sturgeon release celebration on Aug. 20, 2021, in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. Releases will reintroduce +100 hatchery-raised sturgeon into each tributary of the Saginaw Bay Watershed (Cass, Flint, Shiawassee, and Tittabawassee rivers). Short presentations may be made at three of the events by local partners.

    The schedule includes:

    • The noon Shiawassee River release will take place at Cole Park in Chesaning, MI, and will be hosted by the Friends of the Shiawassee River. For more information, contact Sarah Baker at sbaker@shiawasseeriver.org

    • The 2 p.m. Cass River release is at the parking lot at Rosstal Street and Gunzenhausen Street in Frankenmuth, MI, and will be hosted by the City of Frankenmuth. For more information, contact Daren Kaschinske at dkaschinske@frankenmuthcity.com.

    • The 2 p.m. Flint River release is at the Paddlers’ Landings (Mott Park Recreation Area) in Flint, MI, and will be hosted by the Flint River Watershed Coalition. For more information, contact Sarah Scheitler at sscheitler@flintriver.org.

    Lake sturgeon are a unique Great Lakes species. They can grow up to 7 feet long and can weigh up to 300 pounds. The slow-maturing fish do not begin reproducing until they are 15-20 years old. Once abundant in many Michigan lakes and rivers, lake sturgeon were nearly eradicated due to overfishing and habitat loss, particularly the destruction of rocky reefs in rivers that sturgeon and other native fish species use for spawning. In recent years, many partnerships and projects are working to restore sturgeon to a self-sustaining level in Michigan. This work includes restoring sturgeon habitat, reintroducing sturgeon into their native ranges, and raising awareness and appreciation for this unique species.

    The August 2021 sturgeon release events are supported by a variety of partners including City of Frankenmuth, Chippewa Nature Center, Flint River Watershed Coalition, Friends of the Shiawassee River, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU Extension, Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, Sturgeon for Tomorrow – Black Lake Chapter, The Conservation Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more. 

    Learn more about the lake sturgeon restoration efforts on the Saginaw Bay Sturgeon website (www.saginawbaysturgeon.org). 

    GENERAL RELEASE EVENT QUESTIONS, CONTACT

    Meaghan Gass, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator, gassmeag@msu.edu, (989) 895-4026 ext. 5

  • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     The Friends of the Shiawassee River has selected Kirk Riley as its next executive director. Riley will succeed Lorraine Austin, who is retiring at the end of June, after many years of service with the Friends and, collectively, over four years leading the organization.

    Riley brings more than 20 years of experience to the Friends, most recently as executive director of ITEC-Lansing and deputy director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs.  He has degrees in developmental biology and resource economics from Michigan State University, and brings with him skills in nonprofit operations and fundraising.

    “I am excited at the opportunity to join with the many Friends (and friends) of the Shiawassee River – staff, board members, volunteers, and the entire community – in protecting the river and engaging in projects that support the health of the Shiawassee River watershed,” said Riley.  “The Friends serves as a rallying point for this area, hosting river cleanups, building awareness of the threats to the watershed, and offering recreational opportunities.  It is an honor to help lead this important work in a time of energizing organizational growth.”

    Austin’s announcement that she would be retiring was made back in February, primarily due to the need for a full-time executive director to orchestrate the many projects in which the organization is involved.

    “I have truly loved my work with the Friends and will miss so many people and experiences,” said Austin.  “However, as a part-time employee, I realized that with the many new opportunities on the horizon, as well as our abundance of on-going programs, we really needed someone who was able to dedicate more hours to enable the Friends grow and prosper.  We were lucky enough to find someone like Kirk with the experience and drive to move us forward.”

    Friends’ board president, Nick Tereck, echoes Austin’s thoughts.

    “We are very sad to see Lorraine go, as she has championed the mission of the Friends for quite some time,” said Tereck.  “Her passion and dedication for this organization is unparalleled and she will be missed. Lorraine has taken the Friends of the Shiawassee from an organization that was doing great work needing only part-time staff, to growing an organization so robust that it requires full-time leadership and management. She retires now, leaving a legacy to be proud of.” 

    “Kirk is a positive and energetic individual,” Tereck continued. “His warmth, collegial style, practical approach to problem solving, and passion for our work is impressive.  The board is excited to work with Kirk and is confident that the Friends will be well positioned to thrive in the years to come under his guidance.”

    As executive director, Riley will work to ensure the organization can continue to serve as a trusted resource for all things related to the river.  One of his first acts as director will be to oversee the Friends’ annual River Cleanup scheduled for July 24th – 31st – the longest running event in the organization’s history.  Individuals and groups can register to clean a section of the river of their choosing any day during the week-long timespan.  Over 150 volunteers participated in the event in 2020.

    The most up-to-date information on this and other Friends’ endeavors may be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FOSRiver/ or website at www.shiawasseeriver.org.  



  • Thursday, May 27, 2021 11:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     The first ever Shiawassee Triathlon took place in Owosso and Corunna last weekend, May 23rd, through the combined efforts of the Fitness Coliseum and Friends of the Shiawassee River. Thanks to the generous event sponsors, 136 race participants, almost 100 volunteers, and all those who came down to cheer everyone on, the event was a joyous occasion and a great success! Participants ran from the new location of the Fitness Coliseum (210 S. Water Street) in downtown Owosso to McCurdy Park in Corunna, where they used the new kayak launch to enter the water and paddle back toward Owosso. In the last leg of the event, triathletes exited the river on Jerome Avenue, near the NCG movie theater (with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers) and continued to the biking portion in the streets south of Owosso - finishing the race where they started, at the Fitness Coliseum.

    A total of 136 people participated in the race, ranging in age from 11 to 75. Racers traveled from cities all over Michigan, including Oxford, Brighton, Saugatuck and Grand Rapids (to name a few) and from as far away as Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The finishing times for the race ranged from 1:35:00 to 3:40:00, so various levels of experience and competitiveness were welcomed and appreciated.

    The winners of the event were as follows (for a full list of participant times, visit https://www.athlinks.com/event/330784/results/Event/905689/Results): 

    Overall Winners

    • First Place - Derrick Fries, of Clarkston, MI, with a time of 1:35:00 (see photo)

    • Second Place - Correy Ewald of Owosso, MI - 1:43:36

    • Third Place - Gregory Osmer of Owosso, MI - 1:43:49

    Female Overall Winner

    • Brittany Johnson of Gowen, MI - 1:47:59

    Youth M/F Age Group (ages 17 and younger)

    • First Place - Jameson Baker of Dimondale, MI - 2:38:31

    • Second Place - Madeline Baker of Dimondale, MI - 2:52:27

    • Third Place - David Peterson of Owosso, MI - 2:56:47

    Male Age Group (ages 18-54)

    • First Place - Correy Ewald

    • Second Place - Gregory Osmer

    • Third Place - Cory Brant of Brighton, MI - 1:44:03

    Female Age Group (ages 18-54)

    • First Place - Lisa Janego of Corunna, MI - 1:54:06

    • Second Place - Brandess Wallace of Williamston, MI - 1:56:16

    • Third Place - Tanya Miller of Owosso, MI - 2:01:41

    Masters M/F Age Group (ages 55 and older)

    • First Place - Daniel Durany of Owosso, MI - 1:54:06

    • Second Place - Lance Omer of Owosso, MI - 1:54:53

    • Third Place - Laura Meyer of Owosso, MI - 2:00:18

    Relay

    • First Place - Weather Vane Roofing - 1:51:12 

    • Second Place - Advanced Eyecare - 2:13:35 

    67 year old Derrick Fries, the first place winner, has participated in hundreds of triathlons and is a retired USA Cycle Race Director. “The first annual Shi-Tri was a huge success, extremely well organized, and had tons of wonderful volunteers,” said Fries. “As a competitor, the run course was smooth and beautiful. The kayak leg required lots of strategy with the low water level, but was surrounded with much wildlife and scenery.  I greatly enjoyed the bike course, with its rolling hills and the mostly rural roads. Due to the design of the course and the unique order of events, this race is one of my most favorite events ever!”  Fries added he most certainly will participate in the Shi-Tri event next year, and is “already looking forward to it”. 

    The proposed date for the Shi-Tri 2022 is Sunday, May 22nd.

    “We look forward to bringing the event back bigger and better next year!” said Brianna Carroll, owner/operator of the Fitness Coliseum. “Triathletes and volunteers alike experienced a unique event in a vibrant community this past Sunday. I could not be happier about how everything turned out. There was a major sense of community and fun in the air all day.  It was truly  amazing to hear people say they were already looking forward to next year!” 

    Those sentiments were echoed by the co-host of the event, the Friends of the Shiawassee River."The Friends are truly proud to help put on this first-time event," said Lorraine Austin, Friends of the Shiawassee River's Executive Director. "The proceeds from the endeavor will be split between the Friends and the Fitness Coliseum. The dollars headed our way will go toward improvements to help everyone enjoy our treasured Shiawassee. Our gratitude to all who worked so hard to make this dream a reality."

    The race organizers would also like everyone to join in to thank this year’s sponsors – without whom this event would not be possible:  Presenting Sponsor: Memorial Hospital; Run Sponsor: Norm Henry Shoes; Paddle Sponsor: Great Lakes Fusion; Ride Sponsor: Byk-Rak; Underwriting Sponsor: Shiawassee County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Prize Design Sponsor: Darker Mfg. Co.; and the Shi~Tribe Sponsors: Advanced Eye Care, American Recycling Center, Inc., American Speedy Print, DayStarr Communications, Feighner Docks, Hankerd Sportswear, Merit Laboratories, Inc., Qdoba, RE/MAX of Owosso, RWI Mfg., and Weather Vane Roofing.




  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Fitness Coliseum in Owosso and the Friends of the Shiawassee River are kicking off the first-ever Shiawassee Triathlon (Shi~Tri) this Sunday, May 23, 2021 – and it’s going to be a big deal!  The mission of the Shi~Tri is to promote community fitness and to support the Friends of the Shiawassee River.  Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward improvements to help everyone care, share, and enjoy our treasured Shiawassee River.

    This event, which had originally been planned for May of 2020, had to be postponed to 2021 due to safety reasons associated with Covid-19.  Details on the whole event may be found at the Shi-Tri website at www.shi-tri.com

    The Shi~Tri is a Run/Paddle/Bike Triathlon beginning and ending in Downtown Owosso along the Shiawassee River.  Participants begin with a 3.3-mile run/walk from the new location of the Fitness Coliseum (210 S Water Street, Owosso, MI - formerly Trust Thermal) to McCurdy Park in Corunna along the James Miner Trail.  From there, the triathletes will launch their kayaks or canoes into the river, paddle back 3.5 miles toward Owosso, and exit the river just before the intersection of S. Water and Washington Streets, behind the TCF drive-thru Bank. The third leg of the event will have participants biking a 9-mile loop through Owosso’s city streets and country roads back to the triathlon’s starting point (new Fitness Coliseum).

    The run/start line will open at 8:50am, at which time the first group of runners will report to the parking lot of the Fitness Coliseum.  Runners will be assigned a staggered start time. This is just one of the many safety precautions related to Covid-19. Since each registrant will be timed individually, the staggered start will not interfere with accurate timing and placement of each participant’s performance.  The awards ceremony will begin at 3:00pm (also at the parking lot of the Fitness Coliseum) with awards for the following:  Men’s Individual (18y/o+), Women’s Individual (18y/o+), Masters (55+, Male and Female Combined), Youth (<18, Male & Female Combined), Relay Team (All ages, All Relays Combined).  There will also be one overall male award and overall female award.

    Those who would like to watch the race may line up at any point along the route.  Throughout the day, there will be vendors and information tables in the Fitness Coliseum parking lot.  And, as a special treat, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce will have a mimosa tent there as well!  Public parking for the start/finish site will be in the municipal parking lot near NCG Cinema.

    There is no limit to the number of spectators who would like to see this exciting new event.  Registration for triathletes was capped at 150 participants and is full, however there are still volunteer opportunities available.

    “This event will really be made by the volunteers! Together we will be able to make it run smoothly and be fun for all involved. The best part about volunteering is that even if you aren’t a triathlete you still get to play a role in this amazing community day!” said Brianna Carroll, owner of the Fitness Coliseum.

    An event like this relies on the efforts of over 100 volunteers – both the day of the event and the day before.  So, even if you don’t fancy yourself as an athlete or even an out-of-doors enthusiast, there are plenty of ways to jump in and help.  And all who help out will get a volunteer t-shirt as well.

    “The Shi~Tri will truly be a spectacular event for the Friends’ organization and our community,” said Lorraine Austin, Executive Director of the Friends of the Shiawassee RIver. “If you haven’t signed up to help yet, there are a wide variety of duties on both Saturday and Sunday – some lasting a few hours, and some all-day tasks. It’s a family-friendly activity – so we encourage families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone to register together!”

    To register as a volunteer, visit https://runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/MI/Owosso/TheShiTri.

    The race organizers would also like everyone to join in to thank this year’s sponsors – without whom this event would not be possible:  Presenting Sponsor: Memorial Hospital; Run Sponsor:  Norm Henry Shoes; Paddle Sponsor: Great Lakes Fusion; Ride Sponsor: Byk-Rak; Underwriting Sponsor: Shiawassee County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Prize Design Sponsor: Darker Mfg. Co.; and the Shi~Tribe Sponsors: Advanced Eye Care, American Recycling Center, Inc., American Speedy Print, DayStarr Communications, Feighner Docks, Hankerd Sportswear, Merit Laboratories, Inc., Qdoba, RE/MAX of Owosso, RWI Mfg., and Weather Vane Roofing.

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Friends of the Shiawassee River is proud to announce the most recent addition to their staff – Rebecca Huska.  She will be filling the newly created position of Events/Communications Coordinator and will be working at the Friends’ office in Corunna. 

    “I am beyond excited to join the Friends of the Shiawassee River organization and contribute to the outstanding work they do,” said Huska.  “I have enjoyed many experiences in and along the Shiawassee including river cleanups, hiking, kayaking and canoeing with friends, and the Curwood raft races. I look forward to working with those already involved to advocate for the Shiawassee River’s health and promote its appreciation within the community.”  

    Huska was born and raised in Owosso and graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where she majored in Environmental Studies. She has held internship positions at both U of M’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens/Nichols Arboretum and locally at the DeVries Nature Conservancy.  In addition, she participated in a study abroad program in New Zealand through EcoQuest studying the long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus).

    “The Friends organization is thrilled to have Rebecca as a member of our team,” said Lorraine Austin, Friends’ Executive Director.  “In addition to her scientific expertise, she brings with her a youthful vitality, an appreciation for the out-of-doors, great organizational skills, and a love of sharing her passion for the environment with others.  We look forward to working with her to get the word out about our organization and all of the ways folks can get involved via a number of upcoming events.”



    The Friends of the Shiawassee River is a 501©3 nonprofit organization governed by a local board of directors and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and generous donors.  The mission of the Friends is to help the community Care, Share, and Enjoy the Shiawassee River. The Friends organization is committed to improving the river environment and promoting the responsible use of/enhancing the appreciation of the River throughout its watershed.                                                                        


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Contact Us:

Phone: (989) 723-9062
Email: info@shiawasseeriver.org

Mailing Address:

Friends of the Shiawassee River
PO Box 402
Owosso, MI  48867

Office Address:

Friends of the Shiawassee River
538 N Shiawassee Street
Corunna, MI  48817

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