The Press Newspaper
The Western Lake Erie WaterKeeper Association, in cooperation with FreshWater Futures and RiverLures livery, is hosting its second annual morning paddlequest and ecotour on the Maumee River on Sunday, June 6, from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The two hour event will feature a naturalist from Maumee Bay State Park, Dana Bollin, who will highlight the bird life, ecololgy and history of the river along the route.
The day will begin at Farnsworth Metropark, located along US 24 in Waterville, where participants will get a continental breakfast, then car-pool to Grand Rapids, and the RiverLures canoe livery. Canoes and kayaks will be available for rent at a discounted rate of $18 per boat, along with life vests, paddles, and shuttle service. Participants may choose to bring their own personal watercraft. The flotilla will travel approximately five miles downstream to Farnsworth Metropark, where it will be treated to a lavish lunch.
“Last year, we saw eagles, turtles and birds,” said Sandy Bihn, who heads the Western Lake Erie WaterKeeper Association. “The Maumee is really a beautiful river.”
Bihn said last year’s paddlequest drew 50 people to the event. “It was a pretty good crowd,” she said
Bihn will also give a talk about the river and lake.
“We may do another one in the fall on the Bay,” said Bihn. “Some people want to have a four hour paddle, so we may expand it next year.”
The Western Lake Erie WaterKeeper Association serves the waters and aquatic life of the Maumee River watershed, which will benefit directly with proceeds from the event. A registration fee of $15 will cover the cost of the meals, but will be waived if sponsorship pledges exceed $50. Pre-registration is required; further information regarding sponsorships, pledge forms, and details about registration can be found on the Western Lake Erie WaterKeeper Association Web site at www.westernlakeerie.org.
The WaterKeeper Association is also sponsoring “Sunsets on the Bay,” a seven week free program that will start every Friday evening from July through August. “There will be arts and crafts, some music, food and other refreshments in Oregon on the boardwalk until the sun sets,” said Bihn. “The program starts July 16.
A Waterfront garage sale on the first Saturday in August is also planned. “Hopefully, people will have a lot of garage sales out here, and people will enjoy being along the water,” said Bihn.
The WaterKeeper’s mission is to educate the public and promote the waters, according to Bihn.