By Amanda Oparka
The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC), in partnership with the City of Mount Clemens and Macomb County, announce the kickoff of a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to install a universally accessible kayak and canoe launch at MacArthur Park located downtown Mount Clemens.
“Our goal is to raise $60,000 in 60 days,” states Anne Vaara, CRWC Executive Director. “If we reach our goal, the MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places will match our donations up to $50,000 for the MacArthur Park project.”
The park project will help create a link between the riverfront and downtown Mount Clemens, while enhancing MacArthur Park with improved facilities that will highlight a key recreational asset in the community and in the region. Additionally, the park will feature universally accessible restrooms, picnic tables, and kayak storage lockers, among many other amenities.
“Adding a universally accessible kayak launch at MacArthur Park will allow users of all abilities the opportunity to experience all that Mount Clemens and the Clinton River have to offer,” states Mayor Barbara Dempsey.
MacArthur Park was one of twelve kayak and canoe launch locations identified by the Clinton River Watershed Council through a grant provided by the Coastal Zone Management under CRWC’s WaterTowns program. It focuses on community-based place making initiatives to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of the Clinton River, its tributaries and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development. If their funding goal is reached, it will be the first universally accessible launch to be fully funded and installed.
Donations of any amount are accepted and appreciated.
“Every donor will receive a reward for their support, ranging from paddling accessories to on-site recognition at MacArthur Park, to naming rights or even an exclusive VIP paddle when the launch opens, are just a few,” states Beatty.
Recreational enthusiasts, residents and businesses alike can view the project video and help CRWC and the city reach their fundraising goal by making an online donation at Patronicity, or by contacting CRWC at 248-601- 0606.
This project is part of a larger initiative for the Clinton River watershed called WaterTownsTM. WaterTownsTM is a community-based initiative designed to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development. The goals of the WaterTownsTM program are to develop a strong connection to the community, its surroundings and the Clinton River, to provide high-quality recreational and cultural amenities, promote and implement Green Infrastructure (GI) and climate preparedness, and celebrate the nature, history and culture of the community and the watershed. Since the inception of the program, CRWC has engaged 15 communities in the program from Auburn Hills in Oakland County to mouth of the river and Lake St. Clair in Harrison and Chesterfield Township in Macomb County. Linking communities throughout the watershed through this program will allow us to create a high quality destination right here in our own backyard!
The Clinton River watershed covers 760 square miles through four counties (Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer, and St. Clair). From its headwaters in Springfield Township, the Clinton River travels 80 miles and eventually empties into Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township. Over 1.4 million people live in the watershed’s 60 communities. The CRWC is a non-profit environmental organization that protects, enhances, and celebrates the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair.