COALITION MEETING 5: Gap Analysis of Inventories - Begin to Formulate Action Plan

Thursday, November 17th

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Finalize inventory information – present to Coalition (Sara)

Review and comment on draft partnership agreement, Website, and Draft Letter of Support (Coalition Members)

Click Here for Resources and Current Assignments


Inventory Progress - Gap Analysis

October 19, 2016 at 7pm - 9pm

McCurdy Park Community Center, 421 Emma Dr, Corunna, MI 48817 

Welcome: Lauri Elbing (Friends of the Shiawassee River) and Merilee Lawson (City of Corunna)

Lauri welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked our hosts in Corunna.

Report Outs: Lauri, Sara (UM-Flint, Outreach)

Paddling, Public Access, and Launch Facilities Inventory - Sara

Seth Myers, contractor with North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy was hired to perform the physical inventory of the river. Seth paddled from Waterworks Park in Holly all the way to Fergus Road, downstream of Chesaning. His inventory noted points of interest, vegetation, water characteristics, user expectations, signage needs, and emergency access points. Seth did track his route with GPS, giving us accurate mileage for the length of the river.

Dave Richardson (Chesaning) had arranged a meeting between Sara and Leo (local river guide) who went over the challenges and amenities between Fergus Road and St. Charles.  Sara also spoke with Jeremiah from the State Game Area downstream of Fergus Road, it is closed from September 1 – January 1 for hunting. There are two large logjams in this stretch that the State is securing a permit for removal.

Kendall Gilbert from the National Park Service took a detailed inventory of each launch site from land, this data has been compiled from Holly to Corunna. Sara is completing the inventory from Corunna to Fergus Road.

Best Management Practices Inventory Progress – Sara

Sara noted that she and Lauri met with stakeholders in Corunna, and Byron to begin filling out the BMP inventory. The process takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. The BMP inventory identifies what has been done or being done. It is meant to serve a starting point to then set goals to fill the gaps in management and access. Sara will be scheduling meetings with Owosso, Chesaning, Linden, Fenton, and Holly. Sara noted that there are activities happening in every community along the Shiawassee, they are led by government, volunteer groups and businesses. Activities vary across communities.

This inventory information will be combined to create the application for the national water trail, the development plan, and the paddling guide. Barbara Nelson-Jameson (National Park Service, RTCA Program) stated that we don’t have a boilerplate format that the inventory will fit into, we will need assistance in pulling all the information together.

*Sara synthesizing inventory information for presentation back to the coalition


Maggie Yerman (Keepers) noted that the Keepers Riverfest is held the last Sunday in June, it would be ideal to have representatives from all the river groups convene to have a Shiawassee Summit on that day.

Sue Julian (Headwaters Trails) stated that they have been talking about a multi-day expedition for paddlers to travel the entire length of the river, paddlers could be given a passport that could be stamped for each section that they travel. Headwaters Trails would be willing to partner on the event, but they aren’t able to organize it entirely.

Corunna is fully funded for dam removal, seeking funding to install an ADA boat ramp; they have an intergovernmental agreement with adjacent township for maintenance of the Miner Trail.

Other Ideas for advertising / programming: Placemats in restaurants to promote river trail (Dave Richardson, Chesaning); TV 28, Under the Radar, Michigan Out of Doors (Maggie Yerman, Linden); Programming/coordinating festivals along the river

Municipal Park and Recreation 5-year Master Plans w/Water Trail Language – Lauri

Friends of the Shiawassee River performed an inventory of parks and recreation plans that mention the river, out of 16 communities, 3 have no plan but do fall under their respective county plans, 6 communities have the Shiawassee River mentioned in their plan, 5 communities are in process of adding the Shiawassee River into their plan.

The counties of Oakland, Genesee, and Shiawassee have county-wide recreation plans.

Copies of draft water trail language for amending municipal plans were distributed.

Communities are not required to use specific language provided but should give mention to increasing recreational access to the river.

We need to show support of the National Water Trail – how else do we show that than in a plan?

Barbara showed an example of a draft MOU for the Flint River Water Trail Partnership, it outlined responsibilities but gave no mention to financial commitments or obligations.

Shiawassee River Water Trail Website  - Lauri

Documents are placed in a folder on the website called “Planning Team”, included there are examples of partnership agreements, Lauri will add the ability for us to add comments for amending the draft MOU.

The website also includes links to the river map, video from Linden, and announcement on the grant from Saginaw Bay WIN.

There is also general information about “What’s a Water Trail”

Link to the interactive Google Map, no one is certain who made the map in Google, but it is excellent

Will need more information about upcoming events to fill out the community calendar

*Lauri will add a link to the USGS river gauge and will add information about State of Michigan crowd-source river level monitoring

Updates:  Barbara

We are pulling together the baseline conditions, next we need to answer:

  1. What types of experiences do we want to provide?
  2. What types of programming do we need to provide?
  3. Who will trail be maintained?
  4. What type of management entity do we need to establish?


They most common types of management entities are (1) Partnership Agreements or (2) Inter-agency Agreements. The Island Loop Trail is managed by St. Clair County’s Parks and Recreation, while the Huron River is managed by a recognized council, Huron River Watershed Council.

We will need letters of support from people/organizations that provide access to the river, either for ongoing access or emergency access. It won’t be necessary to include letters from those providing access from the roadway.

*Barbara will draft a letter that jurisdictions can customize, and sign to show support for the water trail over the next 10 years.

  • Michigan State Water Trail Designation Program and Water Trail Summit
  • New Designated National Water Trails

Three new trails were added to the list: Arkansas River, AK; Kankakee River, IN; and Great Miami River, OH. There are now a total of 21 National Water Trail’s in 20 states.

New Business: Barbara

Saginaw Bay Water Trail: Website, Development Plan, Signage Plan – Barbara

Visited website at meeting –The signage plan can incorporate the existing signage that is near Holly/Fenton/Linden.

Will need a paddling guide too, the development plan will not satisfy all the users/stakeholders of the water trail.

Both documents should be formatted for printing and online viewing. Paddling guide should provide a range for estimated paddling times. Signage must be consistent.

Saginaw Bay Water Trail Development Plan as template for Shiawassee River Water Trail Development Plan -mock up – Sara

Kendall from NPS drafted a mock up showing inventory information, group would like to model our plan after the Arenac County plan featured on the site. Would like to keep things consistent.

Thoughts on coordination/cooperation for regional water trail destination and marketing

Barbara represented Coalition at the Michigan Water Trail Summit. The Michigan DNR presented an updated framework for the State Water Trails program. Barbara showed a presentation that detailed the requirements, they are very similar to the national water trails program. The State of Michigan is still accepting comments on the draft, contact Emily Myers at [email protected]

Group agreed to classify our user experiences like the state water trail designations.

  • Introduce Trail Town Concept - what it is and what would it look like for your town – Barbara

Barbara introduced Trail Town concepts, due to timing, the discussion was postponed to a future meeting. At a high level, the trail town is one that is welcoming to visitors and river users. The manual for Trail Towns will be posted in the Homework section of the website. Data is also available on the economic impacts of trails.

LIAA developed a water trail town guide for Michigan, it includes sections on education of businesses, signage, and boat storage. Barbara shared an example from Dexter Michigan that combined the water trail with the non-motorized rail trail.

November 17, 2016 at 7:00pm - 9pm
Linden Mills Historical Museum
201 N Main St
Linden, MI 48451
United States
Google map and directions
Lauri Elbing · · (989) 723=9062
David Lossing

Will you come?

  • David Lossing
    rsvped 2016-11-16 09:05:41 -0500