Author: paddleantrim


Paddle Antrim Festival offers great experience on the Chain of Lakes Water Trail

 

Paddling is becoming an even more popular recreational activity and Paddle Antrim is offering kayakers a great way to get out on the water with the third annual Paddle Antrim Festival. This Festival celebrates Northern Michigan’s waters and communities and highlights the diversity of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.

This two day festival, September 15-16, is a fun, non-competitive kayak event where paddlers can enjoy being out on Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes. There are opportunities for all levels of paddlers, from beginners to advanced, to enjoy a great time both on and off the water. Kayakers can choose to paddle one or both days and choose the distance they want to travel. Those looking for a relaxed paddle may exit after 7 miles, while those looking for a challenge may continue up to 42 miles, with many exit points in between to make it the ideal paddle for anyone. This Festival includes live music, great food and drinks all weekend long for both paddlers and the entire community.

This event highlights the wide-range of paddling opportunities that Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes provides. The first day begins with a series of small calm lakes which is a must-see, perfect for all paddlers. The second day you can explore up to five lakes and two rivers including the tranquil Grass River Natural Area and the crystal blue waters of larger lakes such as Torch and Elk Lakes. Over the two days paddlers will enjoy the charming communities of Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, Alden, and Elk Rapids as they make their way down the waterway. To make the event stress-free, meals and shuttle service can be added at the time of registration.

“We are excited to offer a paddling experience for all levels of kayakers to get out on the water”, says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. “This is a great opportunity to highlight the different types of paddling the Chain of Lakes Water Trail offers and have the entire region come together to celebrate the remarkable waterways and region we live in.”

Beyond great paddling, the weekend is filled with great food and festivities.  Beginning Thursday night, each day there are local events with music and refreshments open to all. The Festival ends with a bang at the Final Bash Saturday night in Elk Rapids hosted by the Festival’s top sponsor, Short’s Brewing Company. This all-ages party is for paddlers and the entire community to come out and enjoy live music and great food and drinks. Short’s Brewing Company and Festival sponsor, Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen, will be there serving up the most amazing food and finest brews for all to enjoy.

The Paddle Antrim Festival not only encourages folks to get out and enjoy the lakes and rivers but also raises money to support Paddle Antrim’s mission to protect the waterway, focusing on stewardship, education, and increasing access for all to the waterways through development of the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. The water trail, the aquatic equivalent of a hiking trail for non-motorized boats, provides information on available access sites and paddling experiences for everyone to enjoy all season long. By working with local jurisdictions and other supporters and champions, Paddle Antrim is leading efforts to create a premier water trail for all to enjoy in Northern Michigan.

For additional information on Paddle Antrim, the Chain of Lakes Water Trail or Paddle Antrim Festival, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com or contact Paddle Antrim at info@paddleantrim.com or 231-492-0171.

 

$3,000 in Ripple Effect Grants Awarded

Paddle Antrim recently awarded $3,000 to three projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s waterways through their Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program.

“We are so excited to support these great projects. 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 awards are for the following projects:

  • The Village of Bellaire was awarded $1,500 toward the initial planning to develop a non-motorized boat launch at Richardi Park.
  • Conservation Resource Alliance was awarded $1,000 for development of a new recreational access site on the Jordan River at Old State Road.
  • Three Lakes Association was awarded $500 for a water quality study on Torch Lake, Clam Lake, and Lake Bellaire.

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 November 2017. To learn more about Paddle Antrim, the Ripple Effect grant program or the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, please visit www.paddleantrim.com.

 

Paddle Antrim Offers More Kayaking Classes

Paddle Antrim is excited to offer additional kayaking classes again this summer. They will offer an evening session of the Fundamentals of Kayaking on July 10th in Bellaire. This is a great class for beginners or for those who have been paddling for a while and want to learn basic safety skills and improve technique. Classes will include both land and water instruction. They will also offer a full day Level 1-2 Coastal Kayaking Class on July 11th in Ellsworth. This class will cover the fundamentals but also go into even more detail on paddling and rescue techniques.

“We had great success with the classes we offered in June and want to provide even more opportunities for people to learn how to be safe on the water,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director of Paddle Antrim.

Classes are American Canoe Association certified courses and will be led by Michael Gray of Uncommon Adventures who has almost 30 years of experience. If participants do not yet have a kayak, the instructor will be able to provide one. Class sizes are limited, with a maximum student to teacher ratio of 5 to 1, ensuring great interaction and instruction.  Registration ranges from $95-$155.

For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com/events-calendar or contact Paddle Antrim at info@paddleantrim.com or 231-492-0171.

 

Ellsworth Pig Roast Evening Paddle

Paddle Antrim invites all paddlers to join them Friday evening on June 16th for a community paddle, part of the Ellsworth Pig Roast Celebration. This relaxed, hour-long paddle will travel down the calm waters of Ellsworth Lake. All types of paddlers are welcome – canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. All participants must bring their own paddle craft and personal flotation device (i.e. life vest). All ages are welcome but those under 18 must be accompanied by their parent/guardian out on the water. No registration is required. To participate, meet at River Park (Bridge St/Rushton Rd in Ellsworth) on June 16th at 6:30 pm to check in and we will leave promptly at 7. Grab your friends, make some new ones, and enjoy a relaxing paddle out on this great lake. For more information please go online at http://www.paddleantrim.com, email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.

 

 

Paddle Antrim Offers Kayaking Classes

 

Paddle Antrim is excited to offer two different types of kayaking classes this summer in Antrim County. They will offer two half-day sessions of the Fundamentals of Kayaking. This is a great class for beginners or for those who have been paddling for a while and want to learn basic safety skills and improve technique. They will also offer a more intensive all day Level 1 and 2 Coastal Kayaking class which will cover additional technique and safety skills. Both classes will include both land and water instruction.

“Paddling season is almost here and safety on the water is a high priority for us,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director of Paddle Antrim. “We are pleased to be able to offer these great opportunities locally to give people the information and skills they need to have a fun and safe time out on the water.”

Both classes are American Canoe Association certified courses and will be led by Michael Gray of Uncommon Adventures who has almost 30 years of experience. Classes are limited, with a maximum student to teacher ratio of 5 to 1, ensuring great interaction and instruction.  Both half-day Fundamentals of Kayaking classes will be on June 15th in Central Lake and registration is $95. The full day Level 1 and 2 Coastal Kayaking class will be June 14th in Ellsworth with registration set at $155.

For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com/events-calendar or contact Paddle Antrim at info@paddleantrim.com or 231-492-0171.

 

Spring 2017 Ripple Effect Grant Applications Being Accepted

Paddle Antrim is accepting applications for their bi-annual Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program. This competitive grant program funds projects that protect the waterways and connect people to them. Potential projects must focus on stewardship, education, or increasing accessibility to the lakes and rivers.

“There are so many wonderful existing and emerging projects that are being implemented by other non-profits and local governments,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director. “This grant program provides a great way for us to help achieve our mission by collaborating with other organizations instead of duplicating efforts.”

To date, Paddle Antrim has awarded almost $10,000. Examples of past projects include a kayak slide in Alden, water quality testing equipment, and a hands on stream table. Projects must be focused on the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed or adjacent watersheds which impact Antrim County. Eligible applicants include Michigan-based non-profit organizations or governmental entities.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday May 12, 2017 to be considered. More information can be found online at www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.

Paddle Antrim Awards $3,000 in Ripple Effect Grants

Paddle Antrim announced it will award $3,000 to three projects that benefit Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes region through education, water resources protection, and increasing access to the water.

“We are so excited to support a second round of great projects this year. 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 awards are for the following projects:

  • Three Lakes Association, in coordination with Grass River Natural Area, was awarded $800 to install signage on Grass River which explains the large woody debris project. This demonstration project, implemented by a collaboration of entities, was designed to study whether log structures can improve aquatic habitat in a river with heavy sediment and improve channel navigability by deepening portions of a channel.
  • Milton Township was awarded $1,600 to add kayak racks and a sidewalk connector to their kayak launch at Milton Township Waterfront Park in Kewadin. This will be the first universal access kayak launch on the Chain of Lakes and is slated to be installed in the spring of 2017.
  • The Village of Elk Rapids was awarded $600 toward upgrading the wind screen shades at the Rotary Park Pavilion. This pavilion is adjacent to the existing kayak launch on the Elk River and hosts a wonderful display “Because of Water” which explains the history of water in the region.

“The large woody debris project is a great example of many organizations in the region collaborating on improving our lakes and rivers and we are happy to play a part,” says Jerdee.  “Both the Milton Township and Elk Rapids projects are helping improve access sites for paddlers, which is important as we develop our region into a premier destination 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 May 2017.  To learn more about the large woody debris project, visit http://3lakes.com/large-woody-debris-overview/. To learn more about Paddle Antrim, the Ripple Effect grant program or the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, please visit www.paddleantrim.com.

 

Thank you, help us continue to grow

Hello friend,

While out on the water this year we heard so many great stories. We heard from a gentleman who returned to the Chain of Lakes for the first time in fifty years to visit the lake where he spent countless summers at as a child. We heard from paddlers who traveled to participate in the Paddle Antrim Festival having never before been to northern Michigan. We heard from a couple that traveled to the Festival and who got engaged while participating in the event. We heard from experienced paddlers who were proud to complete the 42-mile paddle route at the Festival in September. We heard from community members who are not paddlers who joined the Final Bash in Elk Rapids and shared their excitement about the event and our mission.

Your stories matter to us, and we love to hear them!

Your connection to the Chain of Lakes waterway is why we exist. Like you, we are passionate about the opportunity to protect water quality and connect with nature. Like you, we are proud of the character, people, and businesses in Elk Rapids, Ellsworth, Bellaire, Alden, and Central Lake, and we want to let more people know about these places and how to enjoy them. We are excited to create opportunities for people to get out on the water and have fun. Your support and participation translates this passion and our mission into action.

This year, we celebrated several outcomes and impacts:

  • The Paddle Antrim Festival in September saw a 50% increase in participation from last year. 76% of these paddlers traveled to the Festival from outside of our region.
  • Over 400 paddlers, friends, and local residents participated in Festival events all weekend long.
  • We launched a community paddle series and invited all types of paddle crafts and individuals to join us on the water this year.  Almost 100 people gathered for fun-filled evenings throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
  • We continued the Ripple Effect grant program, which supports mission-focused work led by other non-profits and governments whose work complements Paddle Antrim’s water access, water quality education, and stewardship goals. To date, we have invested over $6,000 in mission-focused projects.
  • We led the process to create a Water Trail Plan for the Chain of Lakes waterway. To date, 14 units of government and non-profit access site owners have approved a total of 74 sites for inclusion on the water trail. Our goal is to work with businesses, organizations, supporters, and champions so we can create, manage, and maintain a premier water trail within the State of Michigan. Our board of directors will review and approve the Water Trail Plan in December. We look forward to unveiling it in 2017, and sharing a plan for access sites, routes, signage, marketing, and water trail stewardship.

With just two years of service as a non-profit under our belts, we are excited about all that has been accomplished with your support and encouragement. We ask you to join us to continue the momentum.

We have an exciting opportunity to double all donations between now and the end of the year.  A generous donor will match all donations from new or existing donors up to $15,000 that are made before the end of the year.  Please help us take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to double your impact today. Your gift will help continue efforts to provide access, education and stewardship of the Chain of Lakes waterway, and will help to kick-start efforts to implement the Water Trail Plan.

You can donate securely at www.paddleantrim.com/donation, or by sending a check made out to Paddle Antrim to PO BOX 205, Bellaire, MI 49615.

Your leadership is so important to these efforts. Thank you so much for your support.

With sincere thanks,

Deana Jerdee, Executive Director

P.S. When you make a gift of $1,000 or more, you become part of Paddle Antrim’s Sustainers Circle. Learn more about how you can become a Sustainers Circle supporter at www.paddleantrim.com/sustainers.

Paddle Antrim Launches Matching Gift Challenge

Through the end of December, Paddle Antrim invites the community to participate in their Matching Gift Challenge.  With generous support from an exceptionally committed donor, any gifts during this time will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000.  These gifts will help Paddle Antrim continue efforts to provide access, education and stewardship of our local waterways, and will help to kick-start efforts to implement the Water Trail Plan.

While Paddle Antrim may be best known for their Paddle Antrim Festival in September in which kayakers can paddle up to 42-miles through the Chain of Lakes, they have been up to a lot more than that.  “As I look back at the accomplishments we were able to achieve with the community’s support and encouragement during our first two years, I am filled with gratitude,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim Executive Director.  “This Matching Gift Challenge presents a huge boost during a critical time, enabling us to continue our excellent work throughout the region.”

In addition to the Paddle Antrim Festival and hosting other free community paddle events throughout the region, Paddle Antrim has awarded over $6,000 to mission-focused projects to local non-profits and governments through their Ripple Effect grant program.  They have also been leading the process to create a Water Trail Plan for the Chain of Lakes waterway.  To date, 14 units of government and non-profit access site owners have approved a total of 74 sites for inclusion in the water trail.  They are working with businesses, organizations, supporters, and champions to create, manage, and maintain a premier water trail for the region and look forward to unveiling the plan in early 2017.

Donations from both new and existing donors will be matched.  Donations can be made securely online at www.paddleantrim.com/donation or by sending a check made out to Paddle Antrim to PO BOX 205, Bellaire, MI 49615.

 

 

Accepting Applications for Fall Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program

 

Paddle Antrim is accepting applications for the Ripple Effect Mini Grant Program.  This competitive grant program funds projects that protect waterways and connect people to them.  The program focuses on projects related to stewardship, education and increasing accessibility to the lakes and rivers.

“This is a great opportunity for non-profits and governmental entities to expand existing programs or help fund a new initiative,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director.  “After awarding over $6,800 in our first year, we are excited to embark on our second year of this bi-annual grant program.”

Grants may be use for water resource stewardship projects such as controlling invasive species, education projects for boaters or the community, and improving public access sites for non-motorized boats.  Projects must be focused on the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed or adjacent watersheds which impact Antrim County.  Eligible applicants include Michigan-based non-profit organizations or governmental entities.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday November 11, 2016 to be considered in this round.  More information can be found online at www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.