November 2019


Help us Open the Chain of Lakes Water Trail

When people have fun and positive experiences on the water, they fall in love with a place. It’s this sense of care that leads to a curiosity about what makes a place special and nurtures an instinct to protect it.

Paddle Antrim is currently leading and coordinating the development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. Your support for this effort will help to create a high quality and accessible experience for paddlers of all ages and ability levels with over 80 miles of lakes and rivers to explore through numerous communities. By creating and enhancing access, we can engage more people out on the water, connecting them with nature and improving opportunities for their health and well-being.

“Paddle Antrim was formed 5 years ago with a mission to promote stewardship of our waterways for future generations and engage people out on the water. The annual festival they now host was inspired by the Short’s to Short’s paddle which celebrated where we live and also honored our journey as a small business. Paddle Antrim’s leadership of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail is key to providing an incredible experience out on the water, connecting people to lakes and rivers they’re falling in love with and want to protect, and promoting the development of the trail as an asset to support the economic vitality of our small communities. I’m proud to be one of the earliest supporters of their work.”  Joe Short, Founder of Short’s Brewing Company 

To open the water trail for all users, we need your help raising $70,000 by December 31st. This is the final 25% of our capital campaign goal of $275,000. Over the past four years, we have worked to secure 81 access sites owned by 17 jurisdictions to open up over 80 miles of water trail to be explored. The State of Michigan recognized our efforts to date by designating us a State Water Trail; the only water trail in Northern Michigan and the only lake-system trail in the state. With your gift, in 2020, we will:

  • Install signs at each water trail access site where there is an approved agreement
  • Develop a waterproof guide for paddlers to use while out on the water
  • Update our website so people can plan their paddling experience
  • Share stewardship, safety and community information on signs, guides, and online

These outcomes will not be possible without your support. We look forward to opening the trail and continuing to work alongside our public and non-profit partners to protect the lakes and rivers you love for future generations. Please support this vision for an open and accessible water trail with a year-end 100% tax deductible donation.  Thank you for your consideration and continued support.

With Gratitude,

Deana

Paddle Antrim Receives $25,000 from Consumers Energy Foundation to Support Chain of Lakes Water Trail

Grant Will Fund Signage Needed for Northern Michigan’s Only Water Trail

Elk Rapids, MI – Paddle Antrim has received a $25,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.

Paddle Antrim will install signage and develop materials for users to have a quality experience out on the water. The signs and materials will include practical information on the trail but also convey important messages such as stewardship, safety and highlight the local communities. Such information ensures paddlers will have a safe and enjoyable adventure but also be informed on how to be good stewards of our lakes, rivers, and wildlife. Water trails positively impact the local economy, encourage healthy lifestyles, provide a sense of community and place, and encourage preservation of waterways.

“We are always excited to support new opportunities that make Northern Michigan and our entire state a great place to live,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We made this grant knowing that the Chain of Lakes Water Trail will add to the quality of life for the region’s residents and draw people from all over to visit.”

“We are grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for this significant contribution to create an amazing trail system for both residents and visitors,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a connected lake system providing excellent paddling opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels. It is one of eight state-designated water trails, the only trail in Northern Michigan.

The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a regional effort, with 17 governmental jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations approving 81 different access sites for inclusion on the 80 miles of trail. It stretches through four counties in Northwest Michigan (Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska, and Grand Traverse), including four incorporated villages (Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, and Elk Rapids).

“The Village of Elk Rapids treasures its natural resources and the mission of Paddle Antrim, while simultaneously recognizing the economic contribution of our silent sports community,” says Caroline Kennedy, Elk Rapids Assistant Village Manager. “The Village is pursuing official Trail Town designation and we cannot thank our trail partners and our watershed partners enough for the strong collaboration we have built here, with special thanks today to the Consumers Energy Foundation for their generous support of Paddle Antrim.”

With this gift Paddle Antrim is now 75% of the way to reaching their goal of $275,000 by the end of 2019.  More information on the water trail and how to donate be found at www.paddleantrim.com.

About Paddle Antrim

Paddle Antrim is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization who uses paddle sports to educate the public about our precious water resources. We support and promote investments in water trail infrastructures that facilitate public access to the waterways.  We believe education, increased access, and promotion of our waterways will increase protection as well as enhance the economic vitality of Northern Michigan.

 

About the Consumers Energy Foundation

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.

Paddle Antrim announces Public Phase of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail Capital Campaign

Paddle Antrim is pleased to announce the public phase of its capital campaign to open the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.  The water trail includes over 80 miles of trail through sixteen unique lakes and rivers. To date, Paddle Antrim has raised over $180,000, two-thirds of its $275,000 capital campaign goal. 

Through this campaign, Paddle Antrim will install the signage and develop materials needed for users to have a quality experience out on the water. The signs and materials will include practical information on the trail but also convey important messages such as stewardship, safety and highlight the local communities. Such information ensures paddlers will have a safe and enjoyable adventure but also be informed on how to be good stewards of our lakes, rivers, and wildlife.

“The water trail is about connecting people to our waterways and our communities in a low-impact manner,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director. “The Chain of Lakes Water Trail will be a unique asset for the region. It is one of only eight state-designated water trails in Michigan, the only water trail in Northern Michigan.”

According to recent outdoor recreation studies, participation in all paddle sport industries are on the rise and water trails are a way to help those paddlers have a quality experience while out on the water. Water trails encourage healthy lifestyles, provide a sense of community and place, encourage preservation of waterways for future generations, and positively impact local businesses.

“The communities and businesses along the Chain of Lakes Water Trail are so fortunate to have this “ever-lasting gift” presented to them!” says Mary Faculak, CEO/President of the East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce. “The economic impact of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail will be far-reaching and will only continue to grow and flourish over the years.”

“We are grateful for our generous supporters who have helped us reach this point in the campaign and depend on the support of the community and others who value protection of our waterways and access to nature to help us complete our goal,” says Jerdee.  Significant contributions have been made by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Frey Foundation, and many of the local governments and non-profits who own and maintain the access sites on the water trail. 

Paddle Antrim is working to complete this campaign by the end of the year so that installation of signage and development of materials will be complete for the 2020 paddling season. For more information on the campaign and to donate, go online: www.paddleantrim.com or contact Deana Jerdee, executive director at 231-492-0171 or deana@paddleantrim.com.