May 2018

Paddle Antrim Awards over $3,800 in Grants for the Region

Paddle Antrim announced it will award $3,835 to two projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s waterways through its Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program.

“Our Ripple Effect grant program provides a wonderful way for us to expand our impact by funding projects that support our mission of protecting our waterways and connecting people to these amazing waters through paddling” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim’s Executive Director. The Village of Bellaire was awarded funding for continued development of a non-motorized boat launch at Richardi Park for the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.  Antrim County Emergency Management was awarded funding for an 800 mHz radio specialized for emergency communications to be used during special events and trainings for emergency responders.

“We are excited to work with over 17 different partners, like the Village of Bellaire, in developing the Chain of Lakes Water Trail,” says Jerdee.  “It is because of their dedication and the support of many champions and supporters that we will be successful in developing a pristine water trail to provide a quality experience for paddlers.”

Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program awards grant to local non-profit and governmental organizations whose projects align with their mission to protect the water resources and enhance the economic vitality of the region through stewardship, education, improved water trail access and promotion of the waterways.  The next round of funding will be in October 2018. To learn more about Paddle Antrim, the Ripple Effect grant program or the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, please visit

Paddle Antrim offers abundant paddling experiences this summer in Northern Michigan

Bellaire, MI – Paddling is becoming an even more popular recreational activity and Paddle Antrim is offering many ways for people to get out on the water this year.  “We want to get more people out on the water for a fun and safe experience this summer,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director. “From relaxed paddles to classes to large festivals – there is something for everyone.”

Paddle Antrim hosts regular community paddles throughout the region to encourage paddlers to try new areas, including a family friendly rafting trip on the Jordan River. In addition, classes are available for kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing – many include use of gear for those who may not own any yet.

These classes are excellent for those who are new to the sport as well as those who have been paddling but never had any formal training. After 10 years of kayaking, Casey Clement took a class last year. “As our paddle class instructor so eloquently put it, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’,” said Clement. “Turns out I knew even less than I thought! Taking the kayak classes helped make me a more efficient, and safer, paddler.”

Paddle Antrim’s also hosts one of the best non-competitive paddling events in the region, the Paddle Antrim Festival, which attracts paddlers from across the state and the nation. This three day festival, September 13-15, includes a fun, non-competitive kayak event where paddlers can enjoy being out on Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes Water Trail. There are opportunities for all levels of paddlers, from beginners to advanced, to enjoy a great time both on and off the water. People choose to paddle one or both days and choose the distance they want to travel. This Festival includes three days of live music, great food and drinks all weekend long for both paddlers and the entire community.

The Paddle Antrim is launching their summer season on June 7th with a Summer Kick-Off Event at Short’s Brewing Company’s Production Facility, 211 Industrial Park in Elk Rapids, from 6:00-8:30 pm. In addition to information on Paddle Antrim and their events, Short’s will double all donations to Paddle Antrim and each donor will get a beer for just $1. Paddle Antrim invites everyone to come out, enjoy great food and drinks, and get ready for a fun season out on the water.

For additional information on Paddle Antrim, go online or contact Paddle Antrim at or 231-492-0171.

About Paddle Antrim

Paddle Antrim is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to protect our water resources by using paddle sports to connect people to our waterways.  Through stewardship, education, improved water trail access, and promotion of our waterways we will increase water resources protection and enhance the economic vitality of the region.