Flint River Watershed Coalition, Kayak Flint Comes Home with Fishing Spots and Lookouts

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FLINT, MI – The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has awarded $ 350,000 to support a Flint River revitalization project along Kearsley Street in Flint.

The grant will provide funding to the Foundation for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a support organization of the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, for the redevelopment of the former 1st Source Servall Appliance Parts building at 630 W. Kearsley St. in Flint, according to A press release. of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The building and adjacent properties will be redeveloped into the new headquarters of the non-profit Flint River Watershed Coalition and its Kayak Flint rental program, which began in 2018.

“It’s something fun and exciting for the city,” said Rebecca Fedewa, executive director of the organization. “For the first time, the Flint River Watershed Coalition will have its own showcase and can have a larger presence. In my wildest dreams when I started at FRWC, I never expected any of this to happen. The stars seem to align. The momentum is there, and we’ve really seen people embrace the river in a much wider way than we’ve seen in the past. We want this to continue and be a resource for people to be able to access the river if they don’t have the capacity to do it on their own.

The property is bordered by the Flint River, Swartz Creek and Kearsley Street. Once the revitalization project is complete, residents will have access to a kayak launching ramp, fishing grounds and viewpoints. When the building is renovated, community members will be able to stop by and get maps and information about the Flint River watershed. In the future, Fedewa also hopes to sell merchandise and use the profits to help support FRWC’s operations, according to the statement.

Genesee County Parks and Recreation has already started work to improve access to Swartz Creek. FRWC will begin work to improve access to the Flint River after the organization raises an additional $ 190,000 to fully fund the project.

“The Flint River Watershed Coalition is doing great things to bring people to an incredible natural resource right in the heart of Flint,” said Ridgway White, President and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “I hope many more residents will be able to enjoy the river and all the opportunities it offers for recreation, education, and physical and mental health.

The Flint River has an unwarranted bad reputation, Fedewa said, and this project could help residents realize how wonderful it is. While enjoying a peaceful trip down the river, community members can see lots of wildlife including mink, beavers, eagles, many types of fish, and turtles.

“It’s a unique stretch of the river, and you’ll fall in love with it,” Fedewa said. “This is a great opportunity for us to show the river as an environmental, economic and recreational asset for the community. A lot of what we do is encourage people to use the river, love the river, and help us protect the river.

Last year, FRWC and Kayak Flint put over 1,000 people on the Flint River. Kayak Flint will open for the season on Memorial Day weekend. If renovations to the new property are not completed by then, residents will be able to launch into the Flint River from the Tenacity Brewing Company at 119 N. Grand Traverse St., according to project organizers.

“We have incredible partners with URC, Genesee County Parks & Recreation and the Mott Foundation. To see this happen is a dream come true. It is such a great addition to what is being done with the larger Flint River restoration project, ”said Fedewa.

Tim Herman, president of the RCU, said the project contributes to the RCU’s charitable mission to improve and revitalize downtown Flint.

“The Servall property is particularly exciting as it connects so many community assets, including Chevy Commons, Atwood Stadium, Flint River, local businesses and the city’s walking trails,” Herman said. “Once the project is completed, residents will benefit from a welcoming and welcoming environment that will connect the city center to other neighborhoods and community spaces.

Learn more about the FRWC and Kayak Flint on flintriver.org and kayakflint.org.

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