Category: Press Release


Paddle Antrim leads development of Chain of Lakes Water Trail

Paddle Antrim is leading the effort to create and market a new non-motorized water trail through the Chain of Lakes.  A water trail is a designated route along a river, lake, or bay specifically designed for people using small, non-motorized boats like kayaks, canoes, single sailboats or rowboats. These trails are the aquatic equivalent to a hiking trail. Water trails typically feature well-developed access and launch points, are near significant historical, environmental or cultural points of interest, and often include nearby amenities such as restaurants, hotels and campgrounds.

Paddle Antrim’s role leading the development of the water trail includes working with a long list of public and private sector partners.  Units of government throughout the Chain from Ellsworth to Elk Rapids, along with Chambers of Commerce in Ellsworth, Bellaire, Central Lake, and Elk Rapids, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Antrim Conservation District and Short’s Brewing Company are part of a growing list of supporters who are involved in trail planning in their area.

Many significant shore lands have already been protected as parks and natural areas within the Chain of Lakes which are great assets for a water trail.  In 2014, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy developed an inventory of potential access points for the water trail.  We appreciate being able to use this information as a foundation to continue moving the project forward.

Paddle Antrim is currently developing a water trail plan that will identify all of the different  access points and a variety of potential routes throughout the watershed.  The plan will include a list of recommended future improvements which may include better parking areas, universally accessible kayak and canoe sites, enhanced restroom facilities, signage, and places to clean watercraft to discourage the spread of invasive species.  We look forward to sharing this plan by the end of the year with local units of government and other project partners for their consideration.

 

Paddle Antrim is deeply committed to the stewardship of the waterways. We are excited about the opportunity to integrate information about water quality protection and stewardship into the planning and marketing effort for the water trail. With the support of many partner organizations, we will prioritize information on invasive species and other concerns into our marketing materials.  We hope to develop and install some modest signage at strategic access points along the route that provides information about ways that recreational users can support and sustain on-going efforts to preserve and manage lands and shorelines to maintain high water quality. This includes sharing information on leaving no trace and paddler ethics as well as about the on-going efforts and leadership of local watershed groups, lake associations, and others and their important water quality monitoring and protection work.

Spring 2016 Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Awards

IMG_8330Paddle Antrim announced it will award over $2,400 to three projects that will help benefit Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes region through education, water resources protection, and increasing access to the water.

“We are very pleased to be able to award our Ripple Effect grants to these great projects.  Each project helps 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 projects are:

  • Antrim Conservation District, in partnership with Helena Township, will install a kayak slide to provide an additional access point for paddlers on the Chain of Lakes at the Alden Ball Park.
  • The Upper Chain of Lakes Association will be do maintenance on the educational buoys that identify the no-wake zones on portions of the Upper Chain of Lakes.
  • The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay will upgrade their Bay Monitor, a 23’ eco-friendly aluminum hulled tugboat which is used for water quality monitoring, research, and educational purposes.

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 the fall.  To learn more about Paddle Antrim or the Ripple Effect Grant Program, please visit paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.

 

First Evening Paddle June 17th in Ellsworth

Paddle Antrim invites all paddlers to join them Friday June 17th for their first evening 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 paddlers must bring their own paddle craft and personal flotation device (lifevest). 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 17th at 7:00 pm. Grab your friends, make some new ones, and enjoy a relaxing paddle out on this great lake.

2016 Paddle Antrim Registration Opens

Paddle Antrim is celebrating the amazing treasures of Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes.  This non-profit organization is hosting the second Paddle Antrim Festival September 16 & 17, 2016.  The event is highlighted by a two-day kayak paddle through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and its communities.

The two-day paddle begins on a beautiful sandy beach in the Village of Ellsworth.  From Ellsworth, paddlers meander 15 peaceful miles through four small lakes to the Village of Bellaire.  This portion is a must-see with waters calm enough for beginning kayakers to enjoy.  The second day is a 27-mile paddle from Bellaire through the turquoise water of Torch Lake to the Village of Elk Rapids.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure, and they offer many paddling options anywhere from 7 to all 42 miles.  Individuals may select to paddle only one day or drop out at any of the checkpoints along the route either day. To make the event stress-free, shuttle service can be added at time of registration. In addition to the paddle event, the local communities come together to host events for the paddlers each day along the route.

Beyond great paddling, the weekend will be filled with great food and festivities.  Each day paddlers will receive a great lunch and the communities will host a great event with music and refreshments for the paddlers.  The Festival ends with a bang at the Final Bash Saturday night in Elk Rapids.  This great party is for paddlers and the entire community to come out and enjoy live music and great food and drinks.  Paddle Antrim’s top sponsors Short’s Brewing Company and Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen will be there serving up the most amazing food and finest brews for all to enjoy.  Each paddler will even receive a complimentary dinner and beer at the Final Bash.

The Paddle Antrim Festival not only encourages folks to get out and celebrate but also raises money for the protection of the waterways and increasing accessibility for all.  Paddle Antrim is working with the local communities to develop a water trail for paddlers along the Chain of Lakes.  They are also dedicated to giving back a portion of the money raised by providing grants for projects focused on water resources education, stewardship, and increasing access to the water for everyone.

“We are so excited to build on the momentum from our inaugural event last year.  We are looking forward to another great time both on and off the water to celebrate these amazing waters with the paddlers and the communities.  We appreciate the great support we have the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for our mission and this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We especially thank Short’s Brewing Company and Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen for all their support.  We look forward to celebrating the pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

Registration for one day is $55 and $88 for two days.  You can also join them for small hour-long paddles throughout the communities on the Chain of Lakes this summer.  For registration or additional information, please go online at http://www.paddleantrim.com, email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.

 

 

Applications accepted for Spring 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 our waterways and connect people to them.  The program focuses on projects related to stewardship, education and increasing accessibility to our waterways.

“This is a great opportunity for non-profits and governmental entities to expand existing programs or help fund a new initiative that protects our water resources,” says Deana Jerdee, executive director.  “Last fall we awarded over $3,900 and look forward to funding other great projects in our region.”

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.  Applicants must be a non-profit organization or governmental entity.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday May 13, 2016 to be considered in this round.  More information can be found online at www.paddleantrim.com/ripple-effect.

 

Paddle Antrim Awards over $3,900 in Grants for the Chain of Lakes Region

Paddle Antrim announced it will award over $3900 to four projects that will help benefit Northern Michigan’s Chain of Lakes region through education, water resources protection, and increasing access to the water.

The four awardees are:

Antrim County Emergency Management – To assist with water rescue training for all fire departments, Antrim County Emergency Management will purchase an adult CPR water rescue manikin ($925).

Grass River Natural Area, Inc. – Grass River will launch a “Links in the Chain Outreach Initiative” to educate residents and visitors on water and stream ecology, which will include an interactive stream table ($1,000).

Intermediate Lake Association – Intermediate Lake Association will continue their dissolved oxygen monitoring program in Intermediate Lake ($1,000).

Milton Township – Milton Township will install a universally accessible kayak launch and a water trail head at Kewadin Waterfront Park ($1,000).

“We are very pleased to be able to launch the Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program in Paddle Antrim’s first year,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim’s Executive Director.  “We received many excellent applications and are very excited to help fund four excellent projects for the region.”

Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program awards grants through a competitive review process 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 the spring.  To learn more, visit our Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program.

Paddle Antrim Announces Mini-Grants Available for the Chain of Lakes Watershed

Paddle Antrim announced today that applications to request funding through their new Ripple Effect Mini-Grant Program are now available.  Paddle Antrim is a nonprofit organization who uses paddle sports to educate the public about our precious water resources. This grant program focuses on helping protect the Chain of Lakes watershed through on the ground stewardship, education, and access improvements to the water trail.

“Collaboration and giving back to our communities is an important value of Paddle Antrim” says Deana Jerdee, Executive Director.  “We are excited to have the opportunity in our first year to give back to other groups whose values, goals, and desired impacts align with ours.”

Paddle Antrim’s Ripple Effect mini-grant program uses funds netted above their organizational costs so the total amount of the grants we award will vary from year to year. This year they have $6,000 available to award.  The Board will use its discretion to make modest and meaningful gifts of $500 – $5,000 to Michigan-based nonprofits who serve the Chain of Lakes community and units of government within the Chain of Lakes watershed. Each application will be evaluated on its merit and prudent use of funds.

Ripple Effect grants are awarded through a competitive application process and applications are due November 13, 2015 and May 13, 2016 for this year’s funding cycle.  More information and the application form can be found on Paddle Antrim’s website, www.paddleantrim.com.

Paddle Antrim Lowers Registration

8894824250_87a021bb23_oPaddle Antrim announced they are lowing registration rates for their two-day non-competitive paddle event through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes Water Trail on September 18th and 19th, recently named one of the top three water trails in Michigan.

“One of our goals is to have as many people as we can experience our amazing Chain of Lakes in a non-impactful way and build a personal connection with our precious resource,” stated Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “Due to donations and our wonderful sponsors including Short’s Brewing Company, Imperial Beverage, and Green Carbon, Inc, we are able to lower registration rates so more individuals can experience the Chain of Lakes.”

Registration for one day is now $45 and $72 for both days.  Registration includes entry into the event, a participant number, custom event t-shirt, event sticker, and beer token.  Friday paddlers will receive a free lunch in Central Lake and be welcomed to Bellaire with a relaxed block party featuring music and refreshments.  The Festival will conclude with a final bash for the arriving paddlers in downtown Elk Rapids with Short’s beer, great local food and live music by The Sleeping Gypsies.  Registration ends September 4th.

This two day paddle begins in Ellsworth and meanders 15 peaceful miles through many small lakes to Bellaire.  The second day begins in Bellaire and travels through the Lower Chain of Lakes including the picturesque Torch Lake to Elk Rapids, for an additional 27-miles.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure, and may select to paddle only one day or drop out at any of the checkpoints along the route either day.

Paddle Antrim Ready to Kick Off First Festival

Paddle Antrim is quickly gaining recognition for bringing awareness to the amazing treasures of Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and the wonderful communities along the water trail.  This non-profit organization is hosting the first Paddle Antrim Festival September 18 & 19, 2015.  The event is highlighted by a two-day kayak paddle through Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes and five communities.

The two day paddle includes most of the Upper Chain of Lakes, beginning in Ellsworth.  The first day meanders 15 peaceful miles through many small lakes from Ellsworth to Bellaire, a must-see with waters calm enough for beginning kayakers to enjoy.  The second day is a 27 mile paddle from Bellaire through the Lower Chain of Lakes including the picturesque Torch Lake to Elk Rapids.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure, and may select to paddle only one day or drop out at any of the checkpoints along the route either day.  Registration, which ends August 30th, for the two days is $120 and one day registration is $75.

“The communities along the Chain of Lakes are very excited and honored to be able to showcase their many amenities and attractions for participants and their guests of the Paddle Antrim event,” says Mary Faculak, East Jordan Area Chamber of Commerce President.  Each community along the route will roll out the red carpet for the event’s paddlers.  Friday paddlers will have breakfast in Ellsworth, followed by lunch in Central Lake’s Thurston Park.  Later in the day, paddlers will be welcomed to Bellaire with a relaxed block party featuring music and refreshments.  Saturday night will conclude with a final bash for the arriving paddlers in downtown Elk Rapids.  That evening Paddle Antrim’s two top sponsors, Short’s Brewing Company and Imperial Beverage, will serve  beer, while paddlers and friends can enjoy great local food and live music by The Sleeping Gypsies.

The Paddle Antrim Festival fundraiser will not only celebrate the waterways but also raise money for these communities.  Paddle Antrim is dedicated to giving back by providing funding for projects focused on water resources education, stewardship, and increasing access to the water for everyone.

“We are so excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for our mission and this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We appreciate all of our sponsors and want to especially thank Short’s Brewing Company for all their support as we carry on a tradition they began with their Short’s to Short’s Paddle.  We look forward to celebrating the pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

For five years, Short’s Brewing Company hosted a paddle from their pub in Bellaire to their production plant in Elk Rapids, which was called the Short’s to Short’s Paddle.  That event had a goal of raising awareness about the precious water resources located in Antrim County, where all Short’s beer is produced.  “We’re excited that Paddle Antrim has taken our idea to the next level.  The Paddle Antrim Festival is going to be a fun and adventurous way to celebrate the unique beauty of our region while also giving back to all of our communities.  We look forward to participating and are proud to be the event’s major sponsor,” stated Short’s COO Matt Drake.

For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com, email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.

 

 

Paddle Antrim Festival Kayak Event Registration Opens

Paddle Antrim announced that registration is now open for the inaugural Paddle Antrim Festival kayak event which will be September 18 & 19, 2015.  This two-day, 40-mile kayak paddle through most of Antrim County’s Chain of Lakes, from Ellsworth to Elk Rapids, is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The first day meanders 16 peaceful miles through many small lakes from Ellsworth to Bellaire.  The second day is a more challenging 27 mile paddle from Bellaire through the Lower Chain of Lakes including the picturesque Torch Lake to Elk Rapids.  As a non-competitive event, paddlers are encouraged to choose their own adventure.  Early registration for the two days will be $100 and one day registration for $65 per day will begin June 1st.

“We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm we have received from the local communities, sponsors, and paddlers for this unique paddling event,” said Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director.  “We appreciate all of our sponsors and want to especially thank our main sponsor, Short’s Brewing Company for all their support as we carry on a tradition they began with their Short’s to Short’s paddle.  We look forward to celebrating these pristine waters and enjoying a wonderful paddle and local hospitality.”

Local communities are hosting great events as well that weekend for everyone to enjoy.  Ellsworth will kick off the festival Friday and Saturday mornings with breakfast, while paddlers and visitors can stop in Central Lake’s Thurston Park Friday afternoon.  Bellaire welcomes all for Friday night festivities.  Saturday along the route the Dockside Restaurant, Alden and Torch River welcome folks as well.  The festival will conclude with a wonderful party for everyone in downtown Elk Rapids Saturday night.

For registration or additional information, go online http://www.paddleantrim.com, email info@paddleantrim.com or call 231-492-0171.