March 2020

An Update From Paddle Antrim


We wanted to take a moment and check in with you. Like you, we are taking a moment to read the ever-changing flow of the situation, and identify a plan to best navigate these uncharted rapids.

We believe that access to nature is critical during these times and will continue to be. Therefore, thanks to incredible donors who helped us create a successful capital campaign, we are working with local businesses to finish the tasks needed to open the Chain of Lakes Water Trail this summer, continuing to positively impact our region during these times. We know that once we are able to travel again, even more people will be looking for experiences like this to reconnect with nature and loved ones and we look forward to welcoming you and others to the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.

Due to changing economic conditions, we are evaluating the continuation of other programs. We are pausing to assess our summer programming as well as our Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. We are working with key stakeholders to determine how we can best encourage people to get out on the water in a safe manner. We will make thoughtful decisions in the coming months and will keep you informed of our actions and our progress.

With your support, we will continue to work hard to fulfill our mission to protect our waterways and connect people to nature! Thank you, and stay safe. We look forward to our days out on the water with you again!!

Warmest Regards,


Paddle Antrim Adds Water Trail Expert and Seasoned Marketing Professional

Elk Rapids, MI – Paddle Antrim is pleased to announce the addition of a water trail expert and a seasoned marketing professional to their growing organization. Harry Burkholder joins the board of directors and Ellie Kirkpatrick joins the staff as a marketing and outreach specialist.

Burkholder, a Traverse City resident, has established himself as one of the foremost authorities in Michigan for water trails and recreation authorities. In 2019 Burkholder took on the role as COO at The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Prior to this, he was with the Land Information Access Association (LIAA) where he established himself as one of the foremost authorities in Michigan for water trails and recreation authorities.

Kirkpatrick and her family recently relocated from Grand Rapids to the Village of Elk Rapids. Her family’s enthusiasm for Northern Michigan and its vast offering of outdoor recreation and access to beautiful fresh water drew them north. Kirkpatrick brings over 10 years of marketing and event planning experience with her to Paddle Antrim.

“2020 is shaping up to be a year of growth for Paddle Antrim and we couldn’t be more excited to have their expertise as we work to open the Chain of Lakes Water Trail,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director. “We are thrilled to have these great additions to Paddle Antrim and look forward to their contributions as we continue to grow and increase our mission focused work of protecting our waterways and improving access.”