GLADWIN – The Gladwin Conservation District has recently used grant funds from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) and the Gladwin County Community Foundation (GCCF) to clear over five miles of the Cedar River south of Gladwin City Park. The work involved opening clearings large enough to allow outdoor recreationists to experience a stretch of river that hasn’t been navigable for over 25 years, in addition to relocating woody obstructions along the banks to help provide aquatic habitat. The Gladwin CD partnered with Josh Zuiderveen at South Peat Environmental LLC to complete the difficult work that involved opening over 70 woody obstructions.
“I’m pleased to have helped, and to have had help from some hard-working Michiganders. The group we had leaned into and made a difference. It’s a great start on a worthwhile resource.” said Zuiderveen.
The work that was completed ties into the Gladwin CD project aiming to make the entire 10 mile stretch of the Cedar River from the City of Gladwin to the City of Beaverton navigable by the end of summer 2021. Other components of this project will include reforestation efforts along the river stretch, educational workshops, trash cleanups, and other volunteer opportunities.
Tristan Hewitt, Executive Director for the Gladwin CD, is energized by the project. “There is nothing more exciting than working on a project that is so supported by our community,” Hewitt said. “This is a treasured resource in Gladwin County and the community has waited a long time to be able to enjoy the opportunities this stretch of the Cedar River offers. With the progress made by Josh and his crew, we are on pace to have the entire 10 mile stretch between Gladwin and Beaverton navigable by next summer.”
According to the conservation district, the Cedar River is an important natural and recreational resource in the area, including one of the only stretches of Blue-Ribbon Trout Stream in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. This watershed is the largest in the state of Michigan, spanning 5.5 million acres and 22 counties. It runs throughout Gladwin County and is a vital part of not only the recreational lives of the county residents, but also an integral element of the county’s ecosystem.
The Gladwin Conservation District was organized in March 1953 and is governed by a five-member board of directors serving four-year terms. Michigan’s Conservation Districts were created to serve as stewards of natural resources and take an ecosystem approach to conservation.
“We have a lot of momentum building here at the district and I am excited to see things continue to get done in our community!” Said Hewitt.
For more details or if interested in volunteering to help with this project, email Tristan at Tristan.Hewitt@macd.org or call 989-426-9461 ext. 3232.