ELK RAPIDS – Paddle Antrim has received a $25,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting the Chain of Lakes Water Trail.
Paddle Antrim will install signage and develop materials for users to have a quality experience out on the water. The signs and materials will include practical information on the trail but also convey important messages such as stewardship, safety and highlight the local communities. Such information ensures paddlers will have a safe and enjoyable adventure but also be informed on how to be good stewards of our lakes, rivers, and wildlife. Water trails positively impact the local economy, encourage healthy lifestyles, provide a sense of community and place, and encourage preservation of waterways.
“We are always excited to support new opportunities that make Northern Michigan and our entire state a great place to live,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We made this grant knowing that the Chain of Lakes Water Trail will add to the quality of life for the region’s residents and draw people from all over to visit.”
“We are grateful to the Consumers Energy Foundation for this significant contribution to create an amazing trail system for both residents and visitors,” says Deana Jerdee, Paddle Antrim executive director. The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a connected lake system providing excellent paddling opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels. It is one of eight state-designated water trails, the only trail in Northern Michigan.
The Chain of Lakes Water Trail is a regional effort, with 17 governmental jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations approving 81 different access sites for inclusion on the 80 miles of trail. It stretches through four counties in Northwest Michigan (Antrim, Charlevoix, Kalkaska, and Grand Traverse), including four incorporated villages (Ellsworth, Central Lake, Bellaire, and Elk Rapids).
“The Village of Elk Rapids treasures its natural resources and the mission of Paddle Antrim, while simultaneously recognizing the economic contribution of our silent sports community,” says Caroline Kennedy, Elk Rapids Assistant Village Manager. “The Village is pursuing official Trail Town designation and we cannot thank our trail partners and our watershed partners enough for the strong collaboration we have built here, with special thanks today to the Consumers Energy Foundation for their generous support of Paddle Antrim.”
With this gift Paddle Antrim is now 75% of the way to reaching their goal of $275,000 by the end of 2019. More information on the water trail and how to donate be found at www.paddleantrim.com.
About Paddle Antrim
Paddle Antrim is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization who uses paddle sports to educate the public about our precious water resources. We support and promote investments in water trail infrastructures that facilitate public access to the waterways. We believe education, increased access, and promotion of our waterways will increase protection as well as enhance the economic vitality of Northern Michigan.
About the Consumers Energy Foundation
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information about the Consumers Energy Foundation, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.