By Jan Worth-Nelson
Despite what Michael Moore said, inaccurately, in his new film “Fahrenheit 11/9,” the Flint River is cleaner and more beautiful than ever before, thanks to years of assiduous cleanup and the gradual removal of the Hamilton Dam. Now the determined river advocates and activists of the Flint River Watershed Coalition and its chapter, the Corridor Alliance, have created an “urban paddling” opportunity, an “eco-tourism pop-up,” they’re calling it, for paddling buffs to get into the river themselves and see how badly Michael Moore got it wrong.
Starting Friday, Sept. 14, a new project, Kayak Flint, will offer kayak rental through Sunday, Oct. 7. Paddling enthusiasts can rent all necessary equipment and paddle the Flint River from behind Tenacity Brewing, 119 N. Grand Traverse St, Flint, to the Mitson Boulevard landing off Flushing Road.
Hours will be noon to 4:30 pm. Fridays and 10 a.m-4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Fees are $20 for a single kayak and $35 for a tandem kayak. Shuttling from the landing back to the paddler’s vehicle is included. Shuttling alone is $10 if you bring your own kayak.
The 1.5 to 2-hour route explores urban and parkland areas, according to watershed officials, including Chevy Commons and Mott Park Recreation Areas, along with natural sections of the river in Flint Township.
“We’re very excited to start Kayak Flint in a way that provides expanded access to the Flint River, on such a unique stretch,” said Watershed Coalition Executive Director Rebecca Fedewa. “We also see Kayak Flint as a great new way to build the local ecotourism economy.”
She said kayakers can expect to spot bald eagles, great blue herons, killdeer and other wildlife.
For kayak reservations, call 810-241-6966 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at www.facebook.com/kayakflint.
“Popup,” is a trending term for a store or business that opens quickly in a temporary location and is designed to last only a short time.
Sponsors of Kayak Flint are Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, 119 GT LLC, and C3 Ventures. Proceeds will go to support the mission and programs of the Flint River Watershed Coalition, which “seeks a healthy, vibrant, active Flint River watershed for all,” Fedewa said. More information on the watershed is available at www.flintriver.org.
The Corridor Alliance was founded in 2007 to “initiate, support and sustain projects in Flint’s river corridor that revitalize the river as a community asset,” Fedewa said. It became a chapter of the Watershed Coalition in 2018.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at email@example.com.