The Shiawassee River is getting a new canoe/kayak launch in Oakland County thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

 Local non-profit Headwaters Trails will build this new launch midway between Holly and Fenton on the east side of Fish Lake Road in Holly Township, aided by a local land conservancy as fiduciary.

 “People have been waiting for a long time for a safe and accessible landing on this stretch of the river,” said Sue Julian, executive director of the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy (NOHLC). “Thanks to an additional $80,000 in private funds, we hope to have this launch site up and running in 2021.”

 The conservancy holds the easement to the future landing site and has been working closely with Headwaters Trails to secure funding for a landing.

 “It’s a great partnership between two like-minded organizations,” Julian said.

 This year, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan awarded nearly $1.7 million in grants to 73 organizations through the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds. The majority of this year’s grants have been designed to support organizations as they adapt and adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “Due to the stress of COVID-19, people are turning to nature and outdoor

recreation more than ever,” Julian said. “We are very grateful to the Community Foundation for recognizing the part our organizations play in helping our neighbors stay healthy mentally and physically.”

 The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization that promotes positive change in this region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefitting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs in the seven counties of southeast Michigan, according to the press release.

 The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan honor Wilson’s charitable legacy by supporting efforts across the region in caregiving, design and access, and youth sports, as well as for community assets in Wilson’s home community of Grosse Pointe, according to the press release. For more information, visit cfsem.org.

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