Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Volunteers Given Expanded Opportunities on State Land in Michigan

volunteers in forest
volunteers at work (photo by jhy)

a news release of Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that will allow the Department of Natural Resources to better protect Michigan’s natural resources by allowing volunteers to take on a larger role in the state’s land and wildlife conservation efforts.

The DNR has long relied on volunteers to help ensure the state’s natural areas remain accessible, but under current law, volunteers are limited to assisting with park operations and maintenance. House Bill 4111, sponsored by state Rep. Bruce Rendon, removes restrictions on most types of duties volunteers may perform, opening up opportunities for volunteers to work on a wide range of conservation projects such as improving wildlife habitats in state forest areas and wetland preservation.

“One of the great things about this state is the number of individuals and community groups who are willing to devote their time and energy to making our park system something everyone can enjoy,” Snyder said. “By expanding volunteer opportunities, the state will be able to use taxpayer resources more efficiently and maximize our conservation efforts. This is a perfect example of the kind of cooperation we want to encourage at all levels.”

DNR Director Rodney Stokes added, “This new law will help us ensure we have tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities now and in the future.”

In addition to allowing volunteers to work outside the state park system, they will also be able to use DNR equipment and machinery at the department’s discretion, and they will be protected from lawsuits resulting from their work.

H.B. 4111 is now Public Act 65 of 2011.

See Michigan Trails and Greenways
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two Buddies Walking for Critters

buddies walking for critters
Annette Krehn and Regina Prophet on a misty day (photo from WZZM video)

based on a news article from WZZM-13 TV 

 Cousins Annette Krehn and Regina Prophet are well into their 300-mile walk from Muskegon to Mackinac. Their goal is to walk the distance to raise money for local animal shelters.

Annette decided to make the trip when she turned 50. She jokingly referred to it as her mid-life crisis. But her cousin, Regina, would not let her leave alone. So the two took their first steps on the adventure on June 16th. Their Facebook page says that they have made it to Mesick at this time.

The women are also hoping to improve their health through the hike. Regina said, "there will be no TV's, no fast food, so we'll have no choice but to lose weight." Both women have struggled to lose pounds for a long time.

One post from Regina reports "a few blisters and I feel like I have no skin on my feet. But I'll make it." The women are carrying their gear in backpacks and are usually camping at night. They have been averaging about 10 miles a day.

See Two Buddies Walking for Critters
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

Go To for all the news
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First 75-Miles of Lake MI Water Trail Dedicated

kayaks on Lake Michigan shore
NPS photo by Diane Banta

from the National Park Service

"The vision of the Lake Michigan Water Trail Association is to create within the next few years, the longest continuous loop water trail in the world, a four state 1600-mile long trail around all of Lake Michigan. The Lake Michigan Water Trail will help improve the quality of life for all of the communities along the route and attract paddlers from around the world!"

With that lofty goal, on June 4, 2011, National Trails Day, the first 75 miles of this trail were dedicated in Gary, Indiana. The day was marked with paddling events, and also a bike ride at Portage Lakefront. Kayakers and canoeists explored not only the shoreline, but also the East Branch of the Little Calumet River.

Dan Plath, the Indiana representative for the Lake Michigan Water Trail Association and president of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, said, "The environmentally friendly and healthy use of human-powered watercraft allows paddlers to explore the lakeshore in a most intimate way."

When fully realized this will be he longest water trail in the world.

See Lake Michigan Water Trail Association
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Group Paddling the Muskegon on Voyage of Discovery

Voyage of Discovery logo

from a news article in the Muskegon Chronicle

Twelve paddlers are following the entire 217 miles of the Muskegon River, from June 8-18. Their quest is called Voyage of Discovery, and their plan is to have fun and generate publicity for and interest in the Muskegon River.

“I hope the publicity the event draws, that it gives people a greater appreciation of the resource we have in the Muskegon River,” said Wayne Groesbeck, chairman of the Muskegon Watershed Assembly. The WMA is sponsoring the paddling event. Wayne and his wife are participating, in a tandem kayak.

Jeff Alexander, author of The Muskegon: The Majesty and Tragedy of Michigan’s Rarest River is also behind the project. His hope is that it will help residents understand the significance of the river.

The river's many problems need to be addressed. The lumbering era, manmade and artificial dams, pollution from industries, agricultural runoff and stormwater runoff have all affected the quality of the watershed.

The core group will paddle the entire river. However, people are urged to join the group for one or several days.

When the paddlers traverse the six counties of the river and reach Muskegon on June 18, a celebration is planned at Fisherman’s Landing in Muskegon. Organizers plan to have a speaker and the public is invited to the 1 p.m. event.

See Voyage of Discovery
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Connecting Mason County Forum

Ludington Avenue east
Ludington Avenue east- no place to walk (photo by jhy)

a news release of Connecting Mason County

Connecting Mason County is working to get multi-use trails throughout Mason County to CONNECT all the different recreational areas we have.

on June 8th at 6:30 p.m. at the Pere Marquette Township Hall there will be a forum to discuss how treacherous Mason County is for non-vehicular traffic. Goals of the project are to promote safety and good health, and to protect the environment. There are many recreational areas throughout Mason County, but the only "safe" way to get to those places is by car.

Phase I of the group's plans is to create sidewalk along US-10 through Pere Marquette Township. Other organizations which are working toward the same goals are welcome to partner in this effort. And local governments will be encouraged to become involved.

Four people will give short presentations:
1. Joan Young - Get Off the Couch, North Country Trail
2. Jeff LaPrad - Bicycle Commuter
3. Heather Venzke - City of Ludington Community Development Director (speaking on City's sidewalk program)
4. Kevin Hughes - Health Education Manager of District Health Department #10 (speaking on Complete Streets)

At the end, after the speakers, the floor will be opened to the audience.

See PM Township Could Build Multi-Use Path on US 10
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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