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  • 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.                                                                        


  • Tuesday, February 02, 2021 9:54 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) on 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. 

    The Shi~Tri is a Run/Paddle/Bike Triathlon beginning and ending in Downtown Owosso along the Shiawassee River.  Participants begin with a 3.8-mile run/walk from The Armory (on Water Street) to McCurdy Park in Corunna along the James Miner Trail.  From there, the triathletes will launch their kayaks or canoes into the river and paddle 3.5 miles back to Owosso’s Mitchell Amphitheater.  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.

    “We’re so excited to get this first Shi~Tri event off and running,” said Brianna Carroll, owner of the Fitness Coliseum.  “The great news is that most of those who registered last year stayed with us, so we already have over 90 participants already on board!  That also means that since we have a maximum number of 150, those interested in signing up should do so now.” 

    The run start line will open at 8:50am, at which time the first group of runners will report to the front of The Armory.  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 Shi~Tri event organizers want to make a special shout out this year to potential volunteer helpers.  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 race t-shirt as well.

    “The Shi~Tri will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone who would like to volunteer,” said Patrice Martin, Shi~Tri volunteer coordinator.  “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 community-based, family-friendly activity – so we encourage families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and everyone to sign up together!”

    To register as a triathlete OR a volunteer, visit www.shi-tri.com.  Triathlete registration costs are as follows:

    From now until March 31st - $60 per individual; $90 per three-person relay team

    April 1st – April 30th - $75 per individual; $105 per three-person relay team

    May 1st – May 16th - $85 per individual; $120 per three-person relay team

    The first registrant of each relay team will pay the registration fee for the team.  The other members will also need to register under the team name (there will be no fee associated with the additional members, but they will all need to sign a waiver and provide a t-shirt size). 

    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 Healthcare; 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.

    This event is open to youth ages 10 and up. Registration prices will be the same for adults and youth.  All youth participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult during the entire race and that adult must also be a registered participant.

    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.  

    ###


  • Saturday, October 24, 2020 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “We are excited to have been informed that our application, first submitted in April 2017, to the U.S. National Park Service for consideration as a “National Water Trail”, has finally been approved by the agency,” said David Lossing, chair of the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition.  “We applied for a grant from the NPS in August 2015 for technical support to begin pulling the needed data and information together for the application.  We appreciate all of the support we’ve been given during that process, and since, to move our Water Trail forward.”

    The Shiawassee River Water Trail is eighty-eight miles in length stretching from Holly, MI to Chesaning, MI, crossing through four counties in mid-Michigan.  The agency’s water trail program was formed to “…protect and restore America’s rivers, shorelines, and waterways; conserve natural areas along waterways; and increase access to outdoor recreation on shorelines and waterways. The Trails are a distinctive and national network of exemplary water trails that are cooperatively supported and sustained.”

    The Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition began meeting in the fall of 2017 and organized itself to start working towards the implementation of the plan that was submitted as part of the water trail application.  To date, the Coalition, through its individual member organizations, have:

    1.  Created additional launch locations on the Shiawassee River
    2.      Worked with Terrain360 in 2019 to photograph the river in a 360-degree format.    https://www.terrain360.com/trail/shiawassee-river-water-trail?v=0&h=0&b=332.8&lat=42.78638&lon=-83.62663#0
    3.      Worked with Hyfi, a company created through the University of Michigan’s School of Engineering, to install 30 water sensors on the Shiawassee River to report, in real time, the depth and flow of the river: https://www.tctimes.com/news/sensors-installed-along-the-shiawassee/article_4f0daa4c-0295-11eb-9a25-ff09681fe2bc.html
    4.      Headwaters Trails, Inc., ongoing project of installing paddling mile markers along the river downstream of Fenton, MI.

    The Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition is made up of the following organizations:

    Oakland County:

    Village of Holly, Holly Township, Headwaters Trails, Inc., North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy

    Genesee County:

    City of Fenton, City of Linden, Argentine Township, Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, Sierra Club – Nepsassing Chapter, Ponemah, Squaw and Tupper Lake Association, Keepers of the Shiawassee River

    Shiawassee County:

    Byron Village Downtown Development Authority, Village of Vernon, City of Corunna, City of Owosso, Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation, Friends of the Shiawassee River

    Saginaw County:

    Village of Oakley, Village of Chesaning, Chesaning Township, Saginaw County Parks and Recreation

    For more information about the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition: https://www.shiawasseewatertrail.org

    National Park Service’s announcement of the expanded trail program: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/10-22-20-trump-administration-adds-1-275-miles-to-national-trail-system.htm


  • Tuesday, September 29, 2020 12:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Friends of the Shiawassee River organization endorses Proposition 1 on the Michigan ballot this November.  This widely supported ballot measure will continue funding for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, the State’s very successful program to direct revenues from oil and gas leases to parks, public lands, and protection of the environment.  

    The Trust Fund has funded a number of important park improvements along the Shiawassee River and Prop 1 will make funding available to increase access to rivers and lakes, help improve parklands, and protect lands that help ensure clean water.  This valuable parks program is not funded by our tax dollars; rather it directs the royalties paid by industries who extract resources from public lands back to protecting our natural resources.  Currently, there is a cap on how much funding the Trust Fund receives; Prop 1 would lift that cap and ensure a future stream of funding for park improvements and public land protection.  

    Since its creation in 1976, the Trust Fund has helped expand recreation opportunities and conserve Michigan’s land and water throughout the State including all 83 counties.  In the Shiawassee watershed, Trust Fund dollars have been used, among other things, to make improvements at Henderson Park, protect headwaters in Springfield Township, provide trails in Linden and Argentine Township, provide access at Cole Park in Chesaning, and fund the park improvements currently underway in Corunna around the site of the former dam.  

    The Friends is not a political organization and we are proud of our non-partisan engagement with all constituents who care about the Shiawassee River. We are supporting Prop 1 because it is good policy for the State of Michigan that can help us carry out our mission to care, share, and enjoy the Shiawassee River.  Prop 1 is endorsed by Republicans and Democrats, business and environmental organizations, hunters and anglers, park advocates, unions, and farmers.  To see all endorsements and learn more go to miwaterwildlifeparks.com

    On November 3 vote with the river in mind - Vote Yes on Prop 1


  • Monday, June 29, 2020 9:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Friends of the Shiawassee River’s annual river cleanup will be held this summer with a new tagline of “Overcoming Obstacles to Care for the River” and a new look to boot!  This year will be the event’s 25th anniversary and will encourage small groups to participate in a more individualized effort anytime between July 25th – August 2nd - with an emphasis on long-term “adoption” of the river sections participants choose to clean.

    Larry Johnson, Director of the Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) and Friends’ river cleanup advisor, was concerned about large groups of people together and the community gathering/eating at the end of the event. 

    “The SCHD has been a river cleanup partner with the Friends for many years,” said Johnson.  “In this challenging time, in order to continue to practice safe, social distancing, the SCHD advised the Friends to find a new way to conduct this very important community get-together.”

    With Johnson’s comments in mind, the Friends’ river cleanup committee came up with some exciting ideas about a modified event – where participants register online at the Friends’ website and are able to clean a self-selected section of the river over a period of time (anytime between July 25th and August 2nd) in groups they organize themselves.  Cleanup materials will be available for pickup to all registered participants at the Friends’ office THE WEEK BEFORE July 25th (trash bags, gloves, buckets, etc.). 

    “Anyone interested will provide their name, contact information, and t-shirt size will check off a portion of the river they would be responsible for cleaning,” said Lorraine Austin, Friends’ Executive Director.  “We are particularly excited about growing this year’s event to include the concept of a modified ‘Adopt a River’ idea - whereby that section of the river participants clean would be “theirs” to care for throughout the year, not just for the cleanup event.” 

    Participants will be urged to send photos and stories of their cleanup activities for the Friends’ Facebook page.  All who participated (and registered) will come to the Friends’ office after the event to pick up their complementary river cleanup t-shirt and coupon to a free lunch at Mancino’s.  Besides Mancino’s, the Friends’ are also thankful to other business event sponsors including Foster Coffee, J & S Tire, Oster Manufacturing, Matador’s Pizza, Hankerd Sportswear, VMD & Associates, and Waste Management.

    Unfortunately, the SCHD will not be able to conduct the associated tire collection in conjunction with the river cleanup as in year’s past. 

    “We will be in contact with all of the cleanup registrants to communicate how used tires and other items cleaned from the river,” said Gary Burk, Friends’ board member and river cleanup committee chair.  “The Friends will coordinate and assure all river debris removed will be promptly and properly recycled or disposed of.”

    Anyone interested in participating in this year’s 25th annual river cleanup should visit the Friends’ website at www.shiawasseeriver.org or call 989.723.9062 to register no later than July 23rd.   Up-to-date information on this and other Friends’ endeavors may be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FOSRiver/.


    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.                                                                        


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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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