07-19-2018 Watervliet community paddle on Paw Paw River hosted by Two Rivers Coalition; more local p

Watervliet community paddle on Paw Paw River hosted by Two Rivers Coalition; more local paddles planned

To celebrate the opening of the Paw Paw River Water Trail, Two Rivers Coalition (TRC) is hosting a series of community paddles on the river this summer. This past Saturday and Sunday, TRC organized paddles in Hartford and Watervliet with great participation.

WATERVLIET COMMUNITY PADDLE… Two Rivers Coalition president Kevin Haight addresses paddlers as they prepare for trip on Paw Paw River this past weekend. The community paddle was organized by TRC, a citizen based group working to protect the health of the Black River and Paw Paw River watersheds through conservation, education, and advocacy.

According to TRC president Kevin Haight, over thirty people attended the paddles. And it was not just local people. One woman drove down from Allegan County to paddle the Paw Paw for the first time, while another man drove up from South Bend. Haight said he is not surprised at the good turn-out. He says that the Facebook page for the water trail has over 1,000 followers and he is constantly receiving enquiries about where to paddle. Haight says the Paw Paw River is special because of its extensive floodplain forest corridor that surrounds almost the entire 66 miles of river below Maple Lake Dam. Paddlers are quickly discovering that this quiet river is a great place to float and see wildlife and experience nature up close. Although TRC is an environmental organization, not a paddle group, it is strongly supporting the water trail project. According to Haight, “Our goal is to turn all these new paddlers into stewards of this beautiful river and get them to help us protect this wonderful natural resource”. Haight specifically thanked Watervliet and Coloma townships, as well as the cities of Watervliet and Coloma, for allocating money this year to maintain the water trail and cut paddle pathways through downed trees. He hopes other municipalities will do the same in the future so that paddlers continue to flock to SW Michigan. TRC has more community paddles planned for July. There will be paddles in Coloma on Saturday, July 21; Riverside on Sunday, July 22; Lawrence on Saturday, July 28; and Paw Paw on Sunday, July 29. More information can be found on their website www.TwoRiversCoali- tion.org, Facebook page @TwoRiversCoalition and on the watertrail Facebook page @pawpawriverwatertrail.

Program on dating old photographs scheduled for VB Genealogical Soc. On Monday, July 23, the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society will welcome Alice Clark, who will give a presentation entitled “Dating Old Photographs.” Alice is president of the South Bend Area Genealogical Society and has been researching her family history since the 1970s. The family trees and stories passed down to her from her grandmothers sparked her interest into digging deeper and learning more about her ancestors. From her experience, she has learned that all family stories are based on truth, but finding and proving the details have helped develop her skills in research and documentation. Many of those details are right there in old photographs. The public is invited to join the genealogical society as they hear from Alice tips and tricks for gaining information from photos that most families collect throughout the years in their own research. The meeting will be held beginning at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Webster Memorial Library, 200 North Phelps Street in Decatur. Refreshments will be provided and visitors are welcome.