Canoeing in Color , Saturday October 6, 2018
This event was canceled due to a forecast of lightening.
Fall is a beautiful time to paddle the Shiawassee River. The leaves
are starting to turn color. Deer can be seen along the river banks,
with full antlers, getting ready to mate. Beavers are busy stocking up
on tree branches in their lodges for the long winter. Sandhill cranes
are collecting in groups, getting ready to migrate. A lot of birds are
passing through on their fall migration. Endangered blandings turtles
can be seen sunning themselves on logs along the river. Ripe wild rice
sits above the water on long stems. It is coming to the last hurrah
for warm weather as the winter season approaches. Time for one last
paddle down the river.
Trails will host its annual Fall Event, Canoeing in Color,
on October 6, 2018.
Registration and the spotting of cars will start at 11:00 am.
Boats will launch between noon and 2 pm. Launching before
then means that we may not have people in place to help you through the
railroad tubes, if needed. We will have a person at the Academy
Foot bridge if you want to portage instead of go under that bridge.
There will be a person at Fish Lake Road, for emergency takeout.
We will have someone to help you over the beaver dam. At
2:00, the sweep boat will launch to
make sure everyone gets off the river safely. There will be
people at Strom Park to help you out of the water and load up your
boats. If you wish to rent, EZ Kayak, 810-241-1195, is renting
kayaks for $25.00 per boat. They will drop boats off between noon
and 1 pm at Water Works Park. Kayak rental is by reservation
only, you need to call them at least 4 days in advance to rent.
EZ Kayak does
not provide shuttling, so if you need this service, it is free for
members and $10.00 for non-members. This is a fundraiser for Headwaters
Trails where we would appreciate people who are not members, becoming
We are trying to raise match money for the
grant proposal we have before the State Recreation Passport Fund, to
build a launch at Fish Lake Road. The less match money you have,
the less likely it is that they will fund the launch. Due to the
requirements of the State in how launches are constructed in a wetland,
the project is pretty expensive. Our engineer is estimating
$160,000.00 now. We already have some money to contribute from
Headwaters Trails plus money contributed to the project by Holly
Township. Help us make this happen and enjoy paddling on the
is a rain or shine event which will only be cancelled should there be a
prediction of lightening. Be sure to dress for the weather.
We will not have a tow boat on the Fenton Mill Pond this year.
Adventure Paddle 2018, Sunday June 10, 2018In spite of less than perfect weather, the Adventure Paddle had a good turnout of around 50 people. 13
volunteers assured that the paddlers had a good experience. There
were people at the railroad tubes, the Academy Foot bridge, Fish Lake
Road, the beaver dam and at Strom Park. The tow boat was not able
to run this year. The combination of weeds in the mill pond and
strong winds out of the east overpowered the 3 hp motor on the tow boat.
River Cleanup from Holly to Byron May 19 & 20, 2018
river cleanup from Holly to Byron was successful, with the entire river
made passable over the two days of cleanups. On Saturday, Maggie
hosted us at her house after the event for pizza and other delights and
on Sunday, Tom & Diane Landers hosted us for similar fare plus a
fire to warm cold wet bodies.
Some of the photos are posted on the Headwaters Trails Facebook page. Others
the Keepers of the Shiawassee Facebook page. Thank you to all who
made this effort possible. Some of the names are:
,Pat Cockfield, Dan Czarnecki, Michelle Czerniak,
Samantha Forsyth, Ashton Fowler,
Chuck Gosh, Erin Haynes,
Marcie Husted, JJ from the City of Fenton DPW,
Tom Landers, Jim Leaman,
Gary Messenger, Wade Miner, Ed Renckly, Spencer Rogers,
Dave Spaine, Gage Spurlin,
, Gary Xiong, Maggie Yerman, Joetta Zalewski, &
River Training Session May 17, 2018
26 people showed up for a
training session on woody debris management, chainsaw safety and
meeting the requirements of the DNR in river
Owl Walk 2018
Trails hosted the Owl Walk at the Calvary United Methodist Church in
Holly. There was a large turnout and plenty of food to pass.
The Howell Nature Center again presented an interesting group of
birds, including owls, a falcon and a turkey buzzard.
Canoeing in Color
October 7, 2017 was a beautiful day with 80 degree weather and the sun
shining. Unfortunately, it rained over night and in the morning,
which seems to have discouraged people from coming. Only 22
people came to the event.
River Cleanup August 6, 2017
you to David Spaine, Randy Alberts, Rex Mathewson, Bruce Allan, Jannell
Tillman, Dennis Terry, Dudley Behrens, Chris Dickinson, Roger Drury,
Dawn Hittle, Gary Drury and Janell Reeves for cleaning the
Shiawassee River from the Ball Fields in Byron to Walnut Hills
Campground. Thank you also Chris Dickinson and Matador's Pizza in
Byron for bringing us all the pizza we could eat after the enent.
See the Headwaters Trails Facebook page for images of this and
the two previous cleanups.
River Cleanup July 23, 2017
river cleanup started at Tom Landers' house on Duffield Road.
Some of us went up stream to take out a newly fallen tree that
was blocking the river. The rest went down stream. After
clearing the up stream tree, those who went up stream, went down stream
and joined the other crew. That cleanup went all the way to
Byron. Thank You to Erin Haynes, Avery Haynes, Chris Dickinson,
Chuck Gosh, Amy Drury, Gary Drury, Roger Drury, Jannell Tillman,
Marianna Fitzgerald, Tom Landers, Diane Landers and Dennis Terry.
River Cleanup Sunday July 16, 2017
river cleanup went well, with us clearing the river from Hogan Road in
Linden, to McCaslin Lake Road in Argentine Township. Many thanks
to Dudley Behrens, Chuck Gosh, Terry Reechko, Pat Cockfield, Rudy Toufar, Amy and
Gary Drury, Joetta Pyles Zalewski, Jannell Tillman, Marianna
Fitzgerald, Nick Brown, Bruce Allan, John McCubbin, Debbie
McCarty, Maggie Yerman and Chuck Julian. Maggie also fed us
a huge dinner at her place afterward.
Adventure Paddle June 11, 2017
Adventure Paddle was a well attended event this year, with 90 degree
sunny weather. Thank You to everyone involved. Photos by
Michelle Czerniak are posted on the Headwaters Trails Facebook page.
River Cleanup June 4, 2017
River cleanup went well. Steve Darby, Chelsea Cuter, Adam
Schmieder, Christa Schmieder, Mary Blanchard, Dennis Terry, Rex
Mathewson, Bruce Allan, Michelle Czerniak, Steve Hoffman, Janell
Tillman, Al Tingley, Debbie McCarty, Dave Spaine and Chuck Julian
opened the river from Fish Lake Road to Strom Park. Dora Dingwall
helped spot cars at Strom Park. Bruce Allan then bought Pizza at
the Fenton House for the participants. In all, we spent about 4
hours on the river. The water was warm and though we started out
in light rain, it soon gave way to bright sunshine and warm
temperatures. Thank you to all that made this possible. The
river is now ready for the adventure paddle.
River Cleanup May 20, 2017
river turned out to have many more trees in it than we anticipated.
Eleven people went on the cleanup and were only able to get as
far as Fish Lake Road. We are scheduling another cleanup for June
4, 2017 to finish the job. Thanks to Bruce Allan and Rex
Mathewson for leading the cleanup, Michelle Czerniak, Tom Landers,
Dennis Terry, Krista Schneider, Adam Schneider, Dora Dingwall, Marianna
Fitzgerald, Maggie Yerman and Chris Compton who went down the river
with them. Joetta Zalewski and Chuck Julian helped spot cars.
Owl Walk January 14, 2017
Trails Owl Walk and presentation went well with 76 attendees,
netting $850.00 in memberships. Thank you Dora Dingwall for
sponsoring the event and paying to bring the Howell Nature Center with
owls and raptors. Special thanks also to her sister Nancy, Michelle Czerniak, Bruce
Allan, Rex Mathewson, Sue Julian, Mary Blanchard, Debbie McCarty, Dennis Terry, Jim Wright,
Rachael Ray and Calvary United Methodist Church. See photos and more by clicking on the What's New icon.
River Cleanups May 20 and June 4, 2017
Trails members opened the river from Water Works Park in Holly to Fish
Lake Road in Fenton. This took two cleanups due to the large
number of trees that fell into the river over the winter as a result of
the large number of dead ash trees combined with fierce wind storms.
The first cleanup only made it as far as Fish Lake Road, with 12
people participating, then the second cleanup from Fish Lake Road to
Strom Park had 15 people participating.
Fish Lake Road
Power has cleared along Fish Lake Road, cutting down trees in the route
that they will use for new power lines. We have not agreed to a
modified easement, so the corridor was cleared under the existing
easement. This leaves the land still open to us to put in our
launch. Had we signed a new easement, Consumers could have
prevented us from building a launch at the Fish Lake Road site, in the
Birds of Prey Presentation and Owl Walk January 14, 2017
Owl and Birds of Prey Presentation at Holly Calvary United Methodist
Church was well attended. Beth from the Howell Nature Center
displayed and talked about a Great Horned Owl, a Barn Owl, a Broad
Winged Hawk and a Peregrine Falcon. No one in the audience
guessed that a Falcon can travel 240 mph, in its dive. People
were surprised at the size of an owl's eyes relative to its head, as
demonstated by a volunteer. There was more than enough food
brought to share with people taking home leftovers. Sue Julian
lead a walk at Holly High School to listen for owls. They
heard a Great Horned Owl. We also showed two movies about owls
for those who did not want to go on the walk. Many thanks to
all the people who became members, renewed memberships, brought food to
pass and gave donations to further the goals of Headwaters Trails and
to all the volunteers who made this possible. A special thanks to
Dora Dingwall for paying Howell Nature Center to make this presentation
and to Holly Calvary United Methodist Church for allowing us to use
their facility. Thanks to Rachael Ray for kitchen help. Our
volunteers included Dora's sister Nancy, Rex Mathewson, Michelle
Czerniak, who bought and put together door prizes, Bruce Allen, Jim
Wright, who did the barbequeing and carved the ham, Dennis Terry, Mary
Blanchard, Debbie McCarty, Sue Julian and Chuck Julian.
River Cleanup of August 7, 2016
of Headwaters Trails joined with the Keepers of the Shiawassee and the
Byron Contingent of the Friends of the Shiawassee to clean the river
from Duffield Road to the Byron Mill Pond. Nineteen people
participated, including people from Ortonville, Durand and Ypsilanti,
as well as Holly, Fenton and Byron. After the cleanup, Chris
Dickenson of the Byron Contingent, who organized the event, fed us
Matador's Pizza at Tom Landers' house. This cleanup was done as
are Headwaters Trails cleanups in that a minimalist approach is taken
where we only cut enough to make a passage way down the river and leave
most of the wood in the water to provide fish habitat. Small
mouth bass were visible in the waters as we passed. Kingfishers
and Eastern Wood Peewees could be seen and heard in the trees.
River Cleanup of July 31, 2016
river cleanup from McCaslin Lake Road to Duffield Road was very
successful. 17 people showed up to get the job done.
Afterward, we ate lunch at Maggie Yerman's house. Many
thanks to: Bruce Allan, Michelle Czerniak, Karen Borruso, Steve
Hoffman, Terry Bretzlaf, Chuck Gosh, Tom Landers, Tim Julian, Rex
Mathewson, Amy and Gary Drury, Dave Spaine, Mark Steinbach, Jannell
Tillman, Maggie Yerman, Dennis Terry and Chuck Julian.
Adventure Paddle, June 12, 2016
Adventure Paddle was a big success this year. We had 110 people
go down the river. Heavener's Canoe Rental was there to provide
rentals to people without their own boats. It was windy this
year, so the tow boat got a lot of requests for service. Photos
of the event have been posted on the Headwaters Trails Inc. Facebook
page and the Keepers of the Shiawassee Facebook page. Many thanks
to all the volunteers who made this possible.
River Cleanup of Sunday May 22, 2016The
river cleanup on Sunday opened the Shiawassee River from Holly Water
Works Park to Strom Park in Fenton. Many thanks to Dennis Terry, Marian
Krause, Cliff Krause, Kyle Smith, Nick Brown, John Macbeth, Pam
Harbowy, Chris Harbowy, Mark Steinbach, Steve Hoffman, Deb McCarty, Rex
Mathewson, Dora Dingwall and John McCubbin. A person named Sally, who
joined us from Meetup, transported several of us from Strom to Water
Works Park, spotting cars. She didn't tell me her last name but we
still appreciate her help. We cut logs that blocked the river, clipped
face slappers and picked up trash of varying sorts. This cleanup took
longer than I anticipated. We met at 9, got on the river at 10 and off
the river about 4:00. My wife Sue helped coordinate our efforts and
joined us for dinner at the Fenton House, for salad and pizza.
Trails in conjunction with the Keepers of the Shiawassee and the North
Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy presented an owl presentation and
walk at the Fenton Community Center. The presentation was
preceeded by a pot luck dinner after which, the Howell Nature Center
gave a presentation about Owls. They showed owls from their
collection of animals. All of these owls were live owls.
They included a Great Horned Owl, a Barred Owls, a Barn Owl, a
Screech Owl and a Saw-whet Owl. Their presenter talked about the
owls, giving such information such as an owl's eyesight is 400 times
better than ours and that an owl can see a mouse at 400 yards and that
the light of a single candle in the Silverdome would be all the light
necessary for an owl to successfully hunt and fly within the structure.
93 people attended this event in the Fenton Community Center.
Some stayed for two movies about owls after the presentation and
others went on a guided walk through the Dauner Martin Nature Preserve
to listen for Owls. The Photo Collage below is by Michelle
Czerniak. All the photos are ones taken at this event and are not
stock photos taken off the internet, even though they look professional
enough to have come from somewhere else. It just goes to show
just how special this event was, allowing people to see healthy, live
owls up close.click on the photo to enlarge it.
event was a fundraiser for Headwaters Trails, where we asked people to
become members of the organization and support its goal of building
trails in the community. The Howell Nature Center was paid to
make this presentation, so donations and memberships helped pay for the
cost of bringing them to this event as well as for the many expenses
associated with such an event.
National Parks Help Grant
Lossing of the City of Linden, received a grant to provide help in
getting National Heritage Water Trail status for the Shiawassee River.
Currently, the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail is only
recognized as a state Heritage Water Trail. The help is coming
from Barbara Nelson Jameson, of the National Parks. She is
attempting to help all the groups on the river get this status for the
river. In the annual meeting of the Friends of the Shiawassee on
January 20, 2016, she urged that the Shiawassee River Water Shed
Council take the lead in coordinating the efforts of all the
stakeholders along the river, saying that this model of having the
local watershed council take this role, has worked elsewhere. Tom
Cook, President of the Friends of the Shiawassee and the Shiawassee
River Watershed Council, indicated that his group would consider doing
that. Ms. Nelson Jameson indicated that there are a lot of things
that need to be done to acheive that National Heritage Water Trail
status. There needs to be things like: having a common brand for
the river groups; posted trail markers along the river that are the
same from one end to the other; educational information for users of
the river in the form of kiosks; educational information online;
educational programs along the river; river maintenance in the form of
trash removal and keeping the channel open; and providing handicap
accessable launch sites. Headwaters Trails is on its way to
acheiving these goals but much more work needs to be done yet.
Shiawassee River Cleanup from Byron to Walnut Hills
Dickinson of Matador's Pizza in Byron sponsored a river cleanup on
Sunday August 30, 2015. Around 18 people showed up to clear the
trees knocked down in by the tornado three years ago. We started
clearing that section last year but due to the high water, could not
clear as much as we wanted to. Chris along with volunteers from
Headwaters Trails and elsewhere got the big trees in the river cut
and a channel opened for paddling. His crew learned how to cut
trees with wedges and properly anchor them along the banks for shore
protection, with instruction from Headwaters Trails members.
Chris provided pizza afterward to all the volunteers. Thank
You to everyone who participated!!!
Cleanup at 16015 Fish Lake Road, August 15 & 16
of Headwaters Trails and WAM participants did a tremendous amount of
work at the House on Fish Lake Road. Two 30 yard dumpsters were
filled with trash. The outbuildings were cleaned out as well as
the House. An old falling down building was torn down. A
lot of trash from an on-site trash dump was pulled up and put in the
dumpsters. Trees by the road were trimmed so that you can safely
pull out. Invasive plants, like autumn olive and buckthorn were
cut and burned. Dora Dingwall bought pizza for lunch for everyone
on Saturday. We had a grill and cooked hot dogs for lunch on
Fenton Bush Park to Torrey Road River Cleanup Sunday August 2, 2015
of Headwaters Trails Inc. along with the Keepers of the Shiawassee and
volunteers from the City of Fenton cleared the river for paddling from
Bush Park in Fenton to Torrey Road, just before US-23 and Lake Ponemah.
We pulled several full bags of trash out of the river along with
a tire and other debris, then cut the logs that had fallen in the river
and were blocking the way. We did some low hanging face slapper
trimming and cut out a particularly nasty multiflora rose that was
right next to and overhanging the river. Afterward, Debbie
McCarty fed us a feast at her house. We met at 8:00 in Bush Park
and were not finally off the river till around 4:00. The Fenton
DPW provided a driver and dump truck to help us haul equipment and
boats back to Bush Park and to haul away some of the trash collected.
River Cleanup July 12, 2015
River Cleanup of July 12, 2015 was successful. Many thanks to Rex
Mathewson, Brad Jacob, Dennis Terry, Debbie McCarty, Chuck Gosh, Karen
Borruso, Steve Hoffman, Terry Bretzlaff, Chuck Julian and Maggie
Yerman. Maggie fed us at her house after the cleanup as well as
helped spot cars and get people off the river.
We started at Cole
Road, just west of Linden, arriving at 8 AM to drop off equipment and
spot cars. We got on the river at 9 AM then worked till 6 PM,
taking out at Tom Larson's house on Duffield Road. The River is
now clear from the Dam in Linden to Duffield Road. There is still
the problem with the Steibel Bridge that has fallen into the river.
You must portage or pull your boats over the bridge. It
lies between Hogan Road and Cole Road. The river between the Dam
and Duffield is clear enough to paddle. That doesn't mean that
all the trees have been pulled out nor does it mean that you can go
down the river in a straight line and not encounter fallen trees.
There is a pathway around all obstacles, large enough to get a
boat through. If you watch along the banks, you will be able to
see where we have anchored logs along the banks to act as shore
protection. This helps keep more trees from falling in, allows
the flow to create deeper channels and provides habitat for fish.
Fenton to Lake Ponemah River Cleanup
was informed by Brad Jacob that the river cleanup scheduled for
Saturday June 27, 2015, by the Keepers of the Shiawassee, did not
happen. That event was rained out. He said that they were
rescheduling for the weekend of August 1, though he was not sure if the
cleanup from Bush Park in Fenton to Lake Ponemah would be, Saturday
August 1 or Sunday August 2. Check with him for more information
on that or watch the Keepers of the Shiawassee Facebook page.
Fish Lake Road Launch Grant Proposal Submitted
Township, with the help of Headwaters Trails, has submitted
a Proposal to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF),
for a Grant to build a canoe launch and parking area at Fish Lake Road
along the Shiawassee River. Holly Township is requesting
$45,000.00, the maximum that they can request for a Passport Grant.
They have committed to donating an additional $5,000.00 to the
project. It is up to Headwaters Trails to raise the balance of
what is needed. We have committed to raising $15,000.00 plus the
donation of the land that we purchased, for $20,000.00.
Headwaters Trails has already paid an engineering firm for the
design of the site to meet the standards of both the MDEQ and the
Oakland County Road Commission. We need to pay for the required
permits and pay for the supervision of the project by the engineering
firm. We are currently seeking firm bids on the project.
Costs in excess of what is currently committed by us will need to
be covered by us if we wish to accept a Grant from the MNRTF. We
will know if the proposal meets all of the MNRTF requirements in mid
summer, then find out if we have had the Grant Proposal accepted some
time in October of 2015. If accepted and we have raised all of
the necessary match money to complete the project, construction would
start in 2016. This plan requires some excavation, fill, gravel,
geotextile fabric, railings, a board walk to the launch, the launch
itself and signage.We need your help
in raising funds for this project. It provides a safe area to
park along the river as well as handicap access to the Shiawassee River
for canoe and kayak launching. There will not be a ramp down to
the river to put in boats on trailers. Your donations will allow
public access at Fish Lake Road, so that more people can experience the
beauty and serenity of the Shiawassee River. It will be
appreciated now and by future, yet unborn, generations to come.
Be a part of the history of the Shiawassee River Heritage Water
Trail by making this dream a reality.
Donations to Headwaters Trails Inc. are tax deductable. Headwaters Trails is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
To receive bid specifications, please contact HeadwatersTrailsInc@gmail.com.
City of Fenton River Cleanup June 27, 2015
City of Fenton will sponsor a river cleanup from Bush Park to Torey
Road. Meet at Bush Park at 8 am. People are needed to
pickup trash and cut trees that have fallen in the river.
Fenton River Fest June 28, 2015
Fenton River Fest is from Noon to 6 pm on June 28th. There will
be 6 live bands; events including a rubber duck race and a cardboard
canoe race; and booths with people selling everything from food to
crafts. This event is a fundraiser for the Keepers of the
Click here for the 2015 River Events
Calendar and a map of the Shiawassee River between Holly and Duffield Road.
year's Adventure Paddle was cancelled. This is the first time
that the event was cancelled in the 11 years that we have been holding
the event.. Others have proceeded in the rain, however the
forecast was for thunder showers, making the risk of getting hit by
lightning on the Fenton Mill pond a possibility.
River Cleanup June 13, 2015
preparation for the Adventure Paddle, Rex Mathewson, Bruce Allan,
Michelle Czerniak and Chuck Julian paddled the river from Water Works
Park to Strom Park Saturday afternoon. No trees needed to be cut.
Some low hanging branches were trimmed, one rock was rolled out
of the center of the river near the railroad tubes and trash was picked
up. The river was deemed to be generally in good shape.
That does not mean that every log was pulled out of the river.
Logs are left for fish habitat and to protect the banks of the
river. It is passable by canoe or kayak. Flags were put in
front of the right tube at Lagrande Street, to warn people to keep to
the left tube to avoid the rocks. We did not find any places
where it was so shallow that we had to get out and walk our boats.
River Cleanup June 7, 2015
Jacobs said that the cleanup of the Keepers of the Shiawassee got from
the Dam in Linden to Hogan Road on June 6, 2015, so the Headwaters
Trails cleanup started at Hogan Road. We opened the river from
Hogan to Cole Road. We might have gone further but it started
raining and the forecast was for scattered Thunder Showers, so we
stopped at Cole. After that, we ate a wonderful lunch of pulled
pork, potato salad and other things, provided by Maggie Yerman at her
house. Thanks to all of the great people who participated,
including Steve Hoffman, Karen Borroso, Cathie Irish, Chuck Gosh, Rex
Mathewson, Terry Reechko, Dave Spaine, Dora Dingwall and Chuck Julian.
We also had some passing help from Eric and Ben, who were
kayaking along the river and stopped to help us clear one log jam.
Julie, from the Keepers of the Shiawassee, helped us spot cars in
Reconnaissance Paddle - Saturday May 2, 2015 at Noon
Reconnaissance Paddle showed that the Shiawassee River Heritage Water
Trail between Water Works Park and Strom Park is not in extremely bad
shape. There are blockages above and below Fish Lake Road, but
ones that should not be extremely difficult to remove. This will
allow us to consider clearing the river from Bush Park to Lake Ponemah
as part of the June 7, 2015 cleanup. It would be great to get the
river clear all the way to Byron before the month of June is out.
Owl Walk at Camp Wathana
80 people attended the Owl Walk at Camp Wathana on January 10, 2015.
Dr. Craig Perdue talked about his owl research and owl behavior
in general and then introduced the audience to his pet Great Horned
Owl, Rupert. Afterward, he led a walk in the camp to listen for
owls. This was a pot luck dinner event and a lot of great food
was brought and enjoyed. Thank you to everyone who attended and
especially to those who either renewed or became new members.
Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers that made this all happen.
Election of Officers
meeting of October 1, 2014, re-elected Sue Julian as President, Rex
Mathewson as Vice President and Treasurer, and Chuck Julian as
Canoeing In Color - October 4, 2014 - Fall Color Paddle on the Shiawassee River
Canoeing in Color, Headwaters Trails' fall color paddle on the Shiawassee River,
took place on October 4, 2014. This year, there was a lot of
color in the trees to be seen. The weather left something to be
desired in the morning, with intermittent showers, but it went to mostly cloudy in the afternoon,
with the sun peeking out on occasion. Those who came, came dressed
for the weather and had a desire to enjoy the trip. Thank you to
Al Heavner, for bringing boats to rent, and to our volunteers, Dave
Spaine, Rex Mathewson, Debbie McCarty, Mary Blanchard, Maggie Yerman,
Dennis Terry, Jim McEwan, Sue Julian and Chuck Julian.
October 3, 2014 River Cleanup
Mathewson and Chuck Julian did a night before "Canoeing in Color",
river cleanup from Water Works Park in Holly to Strom Park in Fenton.
September 28, 2014 River Cleanup
river cleanup went well, with a bit smaller crew than we had
anticipated, we skipped the stretch from Holly to Fish Lake Road.
The "4 Mile" and "5.5 Mile" posts were installed, completing
installing the ones from Holly to Fenton. Thanks to Bruce Allan,
Dave Spaine, Brad Jacobs, Terry Bretzlaf and Chuck Julian.
River cleanup of August 16, 2014
Allan led the river cleanup of August 16, which started at Bird Road.
He had hoped to make it to Byron, but only he and 4 others showed
up, Rex Mathewson, Lennie Brousseau, Jack Hrbek and Terry Bretzlaf.
Many thanks to them for all the hard work. Bruce fed them
at his house afterward. The high water made the cleanup more
difficult and they only got as far as Duffield Road. They started
at 10 am and didn't get off the river till around 4:30.
River Cleanup of August 17, 2014
cleanup started at the ball fields in Byron, next to the Byron
Elementary School, along with a reconnisance run from Linden to Cole
Road. The cleanup made it all the way to Walnut Hills. At
the current high water level, the river is clear, but when the water
drops, more work will be needed. Many thanks to Rex Mathewson,
who not only led the cleanup, but along with Jack Hrbek showed up for
both cleanups. A big Thank You to the rest of the Sunday crew,
Gary Burke, Phill Hathaway, Terry Reechko, Karen Borruso, Debbie
McCarty, Maggie Yerman, Chris Dickinson, John MacBeth and Chuck Julian.
Chis, who owns Matador's Pizza in Byron treated us to pizza and
bread sticks after we got off the river. Chuck and Debbie started
at 7 with the help of Maggie at Linden. Although there are trees
over the river that you need to duck down to get under, there are no
blockages between Cole Road and Linden at this water level. The
rest of the crew started at 9 am. We didn't get off the river
till around 7:00. There were a lot of trees down from the tornado
of 2 years ago, then the January ice storm and the wind storm of 3
weeks ago. We still need some people to go from Deerfield Road to
Byron, though it might make sense to wait for the water to go down a
River Cleanup of August 3, 2014
River cleanup was a success with 16 people turning out for the effort.
We started at Cole Road in Argentine Township and went to Bird
Road. We not only cleared a lot of log jams, we pulled out a lot
of trash, including a submerged peddle boat that we refloated and a lot
of tires. We started at 9 AM and went to 5 PM. Afterward,
Maggie Yerman hosted us at her house, plying us with pizza, cole slaw,
pasta salad, watermellon, deviled eggs, ice cream bars and drinks, as
well as chips, raw veges and dips. Many thanks to Maggie Yerman,
Dave Spaine, Debbie McCarty, Adam Schneider, Jack Hrbek, Tom Larson,
Chris and Pam Harbowy, Chuck Gosh, Terry Reechko, Karen Monetta, Mary
Smith, Kay Combs, Rex Mathewson, Karen Borruso and Chuck Julian.
Karen Monetta has posted photos of the event on her Facebook page
and on the Keepers of the Shiawassee Facebook page.
As you can see, these cleanups are full of fun when you work with a
bunch of great people. Karen even discovered a long missing airplane
in the Shiawassee.
River Cleanup of July 13, 2014
river cleanup of July 13, 2014 opened the river between Hogan Road in
Linden and Cole Road in Argentine. The cleanup crew cut out
around 10 blockages, working from 9 am till 2 pm. Afterward, we
were invited to eat at Ricky Ostrowski's house in Byron where he served
hamburgers, veggie burgers, lasagna, cherries, ice cream and drinks.
thanks to Ricky Ostrowski, Bruce Allan, Rex Mathewson, Dan, Dave
Spaine, Karen Monetta, Mary Smith, Jack Hrbek, Sue Julian, Maggie
Yerman and Chuck Julian. Karen Monetta has posted some photos on
her facebook page.
Adventure Paddle 2014 Shiawassee River Heritage Water TrailAdventure Paddle 2014.
The Adventure Paddle was held on Sunday June 22, 2014. It
was a great
success with 71 people attending and beautiful warm sunny
weather. Many thanks to all of the volunteers who made this event
wonderful for the participants: Maggie Yerman, Rex Mathewson, Sue
Julian, Lola Augustine, Doug Lanyk, Karen Borruso, Karen Monetta, John
Harp, Dennis Terry, Bruce Allan, Ed Piercy and Chuck Julian.
were many participants who each had their own special way of enjoying
this paddle on the Shiawassee River. No one way was the right
way. The smiles on their faces tell the story.
is an article on the web about the paddle. Unfortunately, it
credits North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy as having put on the
event as opposed to Headwaters Trails. Headwaters Trails and
NOHLC work together but have different missions. Headwaters
Trails is a Trails Building group and is responsible for clearing the
river of trash and fallen trees so that it can be paddled. This
paddle featured one of its trails and sought to help raise money to
further that work. NOHLC is a Land Conserancy. They have
preserved land along the river, protecting the beautiful habitat that
those who paddle the river see. We work together, but have
different missions. Ignoring the fact that the wrong group is
credited with the river work, it is otherwise a good article with great
photos of the river.
TriCounty Times covered the story as well. Their take on the
event was a little different and correctly identified Headwaters Trails
as the group that put on the event.
June 14, 2014 River Cleanup
Keepers of the Shiawassee organized a river cleanup that started in
Linden and got as far as the Waste Water Treatment Plant, just below
Hogan Road. Thanks to everyone who participated.
June 1, 2014 River Cleanup
river cleanup was successful. 13 people participated. We
cleared a large number of logs that would have become a problem as the
water dropped. Right now, the water level is so high that it is
not safe to attempt to go through the Railroad Tubes nor is it
advisable to attempt to go under the Academy foot bridge. We
portaged over the railroad tracks. Many thanks to Jack Hrbek,
John Macbeth, Bruce Allan, Jason Carpenter, Maggie Yerman, Joetta
Pyles-Zalewski, Dennis Terry, Steve Turner, Mike Turner, Mike
Blakemore, Steve Hoffman, Rex Mathewson and Chuck Julian. At
8:30, Sue Julian brought those who stayed sandwiches from Subway.
Although we did a lot of work, it was still a fun event
Request for Owl Research Help
Craig Perdue is doing research into the calls of the Great Horned Owl.
He is in particular attempting to learn if specific calls of the
owls translate to specific things. He needs our help. If
you have heard Great Horned Owls or if you have seen these owls
perching or nesting, please contact Dr. Perdue at
email@example.com. He would like to record the
vocalizations along with the actions of the birds. If it is on
your land, he would like permission to do this work there. You
can learn more about Great Horned Owls, so that you can tell if the owl
you are seeing or hearing is indeed a Great Horned Owl at Great Horned Owls
Spring Birding Trip to Magee Marsh with NOHLC
birding trip to see Warblers was quite interesting. As well as
the warblers, we saw an adult eagle sitting in its nest with a chick, a
screech owl, a wood duck, a woodcock and many other birds that were not
warblers, yet were migrating or in some cases nesting. There were
eagles, owls, a falcon, a buzzard and a hawk displayed by an animal
rescue society, such that you could get up close to the birds.
Birders from across the country attended. We saw plates
from Texas, Florida, Missouri, New York and other states. I
estimate that there were 3 - 400 cars in the parking lot. Where
ever there was a rare warbler, a crowd would gather and whispers would
go down the line that a particular warbler had been seen at a specific
location. Often when puzzling over what type of warbler I was
looking at, someone would either identify it for me or ask me what I
thought and then give their opinion. There was a tent with Ohio
Wildlife officials giving demonstrations. A person was doing a
"Big Sit", where he tries to see how many species he can identify in a
day, from a single location. There was a tent featuring
binoculars and spotting scopes as well as outfitters who take people on
birding trips around the world. I found it interesting to see the
difference between a $250, a $1000 and $4000 pair of binoculars and see
just how much detail in the distance you can see with a good spotting
We stopped at the Bench Family Farm Greenhouse on the
way home. They specialize in heirloom varieties of plants,
particularly heirloom tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other garden
delights as well as having flowers and shrubs..
owl walk was a big success. Thank You Rose Township Officials for
allowing us to use the township hall for the event. The pot luck
produced a wide variety of delicious dishes that we struggled to eat
all of. Even after that glorious effort, we still had left overs
that we sent home with participants. After the meal, we watched
the first 10 minutes of "Owls Up Close", a documentary produced by the
National Audubon Society. A drawing was held for a ceramic owl
pot donated by Joetta Zalewski and another for a book on owls. We
then posed for a group photo and
about 2/3 of the participants walked a portion of Water Road, which is
a non-maintained County Road. Oakland County Parks is turning
this road into a multi-use trail for non-motorized use. Although
we did not see owls, we heard Great Horned Owls calling. Upon
returning to the Township Hall, we then saw the rest of the movie and
participated in a group game of answering owl related trivia, led by
We were really pleased to have a number of
the participants become members of Headwaters Trails. This will
help us with our mission of building trails and hopefully bring us
closer to the day when we can apply for a grant to build a landing at
the Shiawassee River and Fish Lake Road. We need match money
before we can apply for a grant. This landing on the Shiawassee
River Water Heritage Trail will mean the people will be able to make a
short trip from Water Works Park to Fish Lake Road, or a somewhat
longer trip to Strom Park in Fenton from Fish Lake Road rather than
making the long trip from Water Works Park all the way to Strom Park.
CELEBRATE NEW YEARS DAY
Time: 1:00 PM – ?
Come on out and enjoy the day at Proud lake State Recreation Area.
Enjoy the afternoon doing all sorts of fun activities including:
Canoeing, Kayaking, Hiking and/or Snowshoeing. There is no set end time.
Cost: $5.00 Donation Heavner Nature Connection
Additional Activities: Canoeing / Kayaking Snow Shoeing and will be $10 per person for each activity
Sponsor: Heavner Canoe Rental and Heavner Nature Connection
Co-Sponsors: Department of Natural Resources (Proud Lake Recreation Area), and Solar Club
We look forward to seeing your there……. Alan Heavner @ 248-561-8274
you plan to attend this event and paddle on New Years Day, we advise
that you wear synthetic or wool clothing with a windbreaker, if you
don't have a wet suit. You want something that drains the water
quickly. It is best to put on multiple layers so you can take
some off if you get too warm. If you fall in the water, cotton
will hold water and offer no insulation. You could become hypothermic
and die. Be safe, dress with getting wet in mind. Blue
jeans and a cotton filled coat are a recipe for disaster.
Sandhill cranes on Bennet Lake
Due to the Rain on October 19, 2013, Maggie canceled the trip.
Fall Color Paddle
Fall Color Paddle went off as advertised. The water was a bit
low, but Rex Mathewson, Dennis Terry, John McCubbin, and Chuck Julian
went down the river the morning of the event and did a little more
clearing to move rocks from the parts of the river where people
were hitting bottom, over to the side. They also cleared a few
logs that were making navigation difficult. Dennis, Rex and John notched the beaver dam to make it easy to get across.
was a successful event.. The weather was cloudy most of the time,
but the air was warm, and there was very little wind. The trees
were turning color and it seemed as though everyone had a good time.
you to our volunteers: Bruce Allan, Karen Monetta, Mary Smith, Maggie
Yerman, John MacBeth, Adam Schneider, Mary Blanchard, Sue Julian, John
Harp, John McCubbin, Rex Mathewson, Dennis Terry and Chuck Julian.
After the event, we had an afterglo party at Johnny's Pizza in
Fenton, for the volunteers.
the October 2, 2013 meeting, Sue Julian was re-elected, President.
Rex Mathewson was elected, Vice President, Jolyn Vita was
re-elected, Treasurer and Chuck Julian stayed on as Secretary.
Michigan Municipal League Competition.
submission by Dave Lossing to the Michigan Municipal league competition
did not come in first, but it was a fun event anyway. You can see
the video prepared for the competition at this link. MML video
Color Paddle October 5, 2013
first Saturday in October of each year, Headwaters Trails sponsors a
Fall Color Paddle on the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail. This year, the
be at Water Works Park, at 1:00 pm. October 5, 2013. There is
fee per person for this event. That entitles you to return
transportation with your boat from Strom Park in Fenton, back to Water
Works Park in Holly. The trip takes around three hours,
paddling at a
leasurely pace. In the event that there is a strong wind,
be a tow boat in the Fenton Mill pond that can pull you across that
pond at no extra charge. A cleanup boat will follow all the
participants to make sure that no one is left behind.
and Kayak Rental, will have canoes and kayaks available to rent if you
do not have your own craft. It is best to call ahead to Heavners, to make
sure you have what you would like to use reserved in advance, 248-685-2379.
more information, call 248-634-3513 (Sue Julian) or 248-634-4551
you are thinking about buying a canoe or kayak for
personal use, this is an opportunity to try out this sport for only the
cost of a rental (return transportation is included in the rental fee).
This is a special event and for most of the rest of the year,
are no boats for rent on this stretch of the Shiawassee.
October, the Shiawassee River is beautiful, with fall colors just
starting to come out, sand hill cranes and blue heron standing along
the river, kingfishers looking for small minows, warblers in their fall
colors getting ready to migrate, beavers tending their lodge and dam
(yes, there is a beaver dam in this stretch of the river), deer grazing
in the fields and water so clear that you can see the fish swim by.
is a rain or shine event. The Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail is an easy
most novices can handle. We will have a person at the beaver
help you get across and a person at the railroad tubes to help you
experience on the
river is often referred to as an UP North experience due to the
relatively few houses you will see along the river and the fact that
much of it passes along little disturbed forests and swamps.
It is an
experience of nature's beauty and tranquility that in other places in
South East Michigan that has long ago disappeared. The
River is considered a Heritage Water Trail and has been so designated
by Oakland County.
as Headwaters Trails, the Keepers of the Shiawassee, the City of
Fenton, the City of Linden, the Village of Holly, the Friends of the
Shiawassee and others cooperate in keeping the river open by cutting
trees that have fallen in the river and picking up trash that has been
thrown in the river. It is through the effort of many
this gem is kept open to the public.
Come Join us
for a wonderful afternoon on the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail.
Help us get the River ready for the Fall Color Paddle
River Cleanup went on as planned on Sunday September 29, 2013, in a
light rain. The air was a little cool, but the water was warm.
Maggie Yerman, Jim Kure, Bill, Dennis Terry, Terry Reechko,
Joetta Zalewski, Mary Smith, Karen Monetta and Chuck Julian went down
the river. Sue Julian helped get the crew off and helped recover
them at the end. The group was divided into two groups, with one
clearing the river from Water Works Park in Holly to Strom Park in
Fenton, and the other clearing the river from Bush Park in Fenton to
the DNR launch in Lake Ponemah. From the Water Works to Strom was
mostly clearing trees in the water and pushing back the bushes from the
river. From Bush to Ponemah was largely picking up trash with
some face slappers trimmed and a few logs cut and moved to the side of
the river. That group pulled four full garbage bags worth of
cans, bottles and other debris out of the river. The worst trash
was right around Bush Park. The river was fairly shallow, meaning
that the rowboat had to be pushed in several spots. The kayaks
seemed to make it through without having to get out. Hopefully,
this weekend's rain and that predicted later in the week will raise the
water level a little. Otherwise, the river is open from Water
Works Park in Holly, to Lake Ponemah.
Jim Kure pointed out that
we could possibly do a cleanup of the river from Byron to Walnut Hills,
in the future. The river there has a lot of logs in it from the
tornado that went through this summer. He noted that the wind was
so strong that many of the trees were splintered, and not just knocked
down. If we get a warm weekend before winter, we may schedule
that cleanup. Otherwise, it will have to wait for next summer.
the cleanup on Sunday, the crew was treated to a wonderful warm meal at
the home of Karen and Jeff Monetta. The rain kept us inside as
opposed to going out to a warm bonfire as was originally planned.
We watched a little football, had great conversation and enjoyed the
warmth of hospitality provided by the Monettas. Many thanks to
the Monettas and all who participated.
See the Sandhill Cranes on Bennet Lake
Keepers of the Shiawassee will be sponsoring a trip on Bennett Lake to
see the Sandhill Cranes as they group together before migrating south
for the winter. They will meet at the Deerfield Hill Nature
Center at Cohoctah and Green roads at 1:00. Maggie suggests that if you
have wheels for your kayak, you bring them. The launch is about
1/10th mile away from the parking area. You can also launch from
the DNR launch off of Argentine Road. (If you would rather have a
shorter walk and a longer paddle launch from the DNR launch off Argentine Rd.
and meet us in Bennett Lake near the modular home park at 2:00)
Cleanup of the Flint River
of Headwaters Trails, Terry Reechko, Rex Mathewson, Dennis Terry, Steve
Hoffman, and Greg Schovan have been involved in two cleanups of the
Flint River in the area below Holloway Dam in Flint. The most
recent cleanup involved Terry Reechko, Dennis Terry and Rex Mathewson
on Saturday August 10. They spent around 4 hours clearing one
large log jam. Those efforts were coordinated by Terry
The Flint River is now clear for paddling between Holloway
and Mott Lake.
A Note from
Dave Lossing regarding the Floatilla
First off, THANK YOU for making the Floatilla a roaring
success! In the end, we had135 registrants, nine pontoon
boats, about two dozen or so folks on shore and a wonderful Saturday
afternoon enjoying the Shiawassee River! The photos that
everyone has posted to Facebook are just amazing, lots of smiling
faces, beach balls, paddle boards, and yes, wet dogs. Both of
my dogs went swimming in the Mill Pond (intentional) and Lake Ponemah
(not intentional - caused by wave action).
Kevin and Shar Haley are going to host us this coming Thursday, August
15th at 7pm, at the Nutrition Shop (114 S. Bridge Street, Linden) where
will have a debrief of the event and talk about next year!
I've attached for review a list of the sponsors of this video project
so far. I'm sure there are groups I've left off, so please
bring those suggestions on Thursday.
Sue has volunteered to database all of the registrants that we had for
the Keepers group (she just loves Excel - more than I do) - so bring
all the forms that have been collected. We have 135 new
"members" that we hopefully can count on to join us on paddles, clean
ups, fundraisers, etc. for the next few years.
Again, thanks for making this a huge success!
Mayor, City of
President, Michigan Municipal League 2012-2013
Shiawassee River Heritage
Water Trail“Come Paddle With Us!” project
Headwaters Trails, Inc.
Keepers of the Shiawassee
City of Linden Downtown Development Authority
City of Fenton
Fenton Regional Chamber of Commerce
City of Linden Fire and Rescue
City of Linden Department of Public Works
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Spoonz Lakeside Tavern and Grill
The French Laundry
Sweet D’s Café Bake Shop and Tea Room
Subway of Linden
Tim Hortons Café and Bake Shop
Friends of the Shiawassee
The Nutrition Shop
Share a Smile
Village of Holly Downtown Development Authority/Main Street
Holly Area Chamber of Commerce
Fenton Community Fund, Community Foundation of Greater Flint
Headwaters Trails cleared the Shiawassee River from Duffield Road to
August 4, 2013. There were several large trees that had
the river and surprisingly little trash. We put in at Tom
Landers' house and took out at the cemetery in Byron.
Ricky Ostrowski had us all over to his house for a nice meal.
Many thanks to Tom Landers, Bruce Allen, Dennis Terry, Rex
Mathewson, Ricky Ostrowski, Karen Monetta, Lisa Brazzil, Kay Combs,
Terry Reechko and