(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
“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 88 miles in length, stretching from Holly to Chesaning, 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 created additional launch locations on the Shiawassee River; worked with Terrain360 in 2019 to photograph the river in a 360-degree format, which can be seen at www.terrain360.com/trail/shiawassee-river-water-trail?v=0&h=0&b=332.8&lat=42.78638&lon=-83.62663#0; 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, which can be viewed at www.tctimes.com/news/sensors-installed-along-the-shiawassee/article_4f0daa4c-0295-11eb-9a25-ff09681fe2bc.html.
The Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition includes the Byron Village Downtown Development Authority, the village of Vernon, city of Corunna, city of Owosso, Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation and Friends of the Shiawassee River, as well as organizations from Oakland, Genesee and Saginaw counties.
For more information about the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition, visit www.shiawasseewatertrail.org. For more information about the National Water Trail program, go to www.nps.gov/subjects/nationaltrailssystem/national-water-trails-system.htm.