The Bay Area Community Foundation has awarded a $12,000 grant from the Watershed Restoration Fund to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy to help raise public awareness about the Chippewa River Watershed and promote recreational, cultural and historic features from the river’s headwaters in Mecosta County, through Isabella County and into Midland County, where it joins the Tittabawassee River.
Stan Lilley, Executive Director of the CWC, said, “We are delighted to receive this grant award and are looking forward to working with our partners to move this project forward. The project will create signs to publicize the boundaries of the Chippewa River watershed. Using input to be gathered from the public and from private and public sector colleagues, we will also create a print-ready water trail map depicting important recreational, cultural and historic locations along the Chippewa River. There will be some mile posts installed along the river for reference and to aid in emergency location. The map will include paragraphs promoting wise use of the river, covering topics such as not carrying glass and Styrofoam on the water, carrying out cans and other trash created when visiting the river, etiquette regarding quiet passage by neighborhoods, not trespassing on private property, etc. We’ll be looking for separate funding to get the trail map printed for free public distribution.”
Kristin Bovid, of the Bay Area Community Foundation, said, “We were very impressed with the high level of collaborative involvement. This is a project that appeals on many levels.”
Lilley said, “This is the first phase in a long range goal to promote the river as an important recreation, tourism and business resource, and to encourage conservation and clean water. We have been meeting periodically with a number of government, Tribal, and nongovernmental organizations for more than a year to discuss topics of mutual interest regarding watershed issues. We hope there will be many more funding opportunities to benefit projects in the watershed and we are grateful to the Bay Area Community Foundation Watershed Restoration Fund for supporting this effort.”