The second annual Cycling Circles event will take place at Chevy Commons on September 30 from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event was created to give children a chance to bike along the paths at the site.  We serve as a sponsor along with other community partners including the Genesee County Land Bank, Genesee County Parks, Genesee County Health Department, Hurley Medical Center and more.

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The installation of a flower bed was completed at the entrance to Chevy Commons in September.  The flower bed will be the eventual location for a sign welcoming people to the site.  The work was completed in conjunction with funding from Keep Genesee County Beautiful.

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We are excited to be a part of the Flint Bike Share Program.  We are helping with the coordination related to bringing the Flint Bike Share Program to the area.  A bike share program allows users to check out a bike to use it for a few hours or the entire day.  The first station was installed at the Genesee County Parks headquarters in July 2016 and the second station opened on the Flint Cultural Center’s campus in September.  Two additional stations were opened on the University of Michigan-Flint’s campus in November.  Watch for future updates on our website and social media pages as new stations open.

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The 2106 Flint River Flotilla had 220 participants and nearly 30 volunteers making this year’s event a huge success.  Plan to join us in 2017 for another great day out on the river.  A special thank you once again to all of our sponsors who made the event possible.

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David Lossing 4 (2)David Lossing

How long have you been a board member with the FRCA?  What prompted you to want to join the board?

I’ve been involved with the FRCA since 2006, when I began my service at the University of Michigan-Flint as director of government relations.  For the first two or three years, I had been asked by FRCA to join the Hamilton Dam committee given my experience of working as a congressional staffer with U.S. Sen. Carl
Levin (MI) for nine years.  I was later elected to the board and I currently serve as the Chair of the FRCA.

What organization do you represent on the FRCA board and what is your job there?

For the past nine years, I have been serving as the director of government relations for the University of Michigan-Flint.  I’ve been with the University of Michigan for sixteen years, having first worked on the UM-Ann Arbor campus as the associate director of State Outreach located within the Office of Government Relations.

I’m a Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana State University and my dissertation topic is going to focus on universities as anchor institutions.

What is your favorite program or project the FRCA has been involved with or is currently helping out with in Flint?

Since the beginning of the FRCA, we’ve always had a focus on the large projects that fall within the corridor: redevelopment of the former Chevy in the Hole manufacturing site, now known as Chevy Commons, the Hamilton Dam, and the Flint River Bike Trail.  It’s great to see that we are have started focusing on smaller and more manageable projects like the Zagster bike sharing program and the Flint River flotilla.

Dale Snyder

How long have you been a board member with the FRCA?  What prompted you to want to join the board?

I have been a board member since November of 2014. I am the community service representative for UAW local 659 at General Motors Flint Tool & Die. Our plant is very active in supporting the community around us and this was a perfect fit for me. Being an active outdoorsman and a big advocate of Flint River, along with any other river that I can get my kayak in for that matter, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved.

What organization do you represent on the FRCA board and what is your job there?

UAW local 659 at General Motors Flint Tool & Die

What is your favorite program or project the FRCA has been involved with or is currently helping out with in Flint? 

There are quite a few projects that are going on right now, but if I had to narrow it down it would have to be the annual Flotilla. It is a great time to be able to get so many people together to experience the fun the river can give you and be in the outdoors. Its always great to talk to people that have lived so close to the river all their life and have them make statements like “I never realized how nice this is and it’s in my back yard.”

A close second is the Chevy Commons project and then there’s the Riverfront Restoration Project, this is going to be a game changer for the community! Come to think of it, I can’t narrow it down, they are all me favorite.

What would you like people to know about the FRCA?

It didn’t take me long after joining to realize the people involved with the FRCA are such passionate people that genuinely care and love this river and this city. With that being said the projects that are in the works are amazing.

Share a memory of the Flint River or tell us what is your favorite part about the river.

Having to pick one memory out would be tough, so I will talk about a couple of them.  One that comes to mind is the first time I was in the river near Mott Park and I saw an Eagle flying above me in my kayak. I was absolutely amazed. Here we were a stone’s throw from downtown and we are seeing an eagle, and a short time later we spotted a deer on the bank.

Another instance is something that happens quite often for me and that is simply sitting on a bench or leaning over the railing and just watching and listening to the river. It just doesn’t get any better than that experience.

 

Scott Kree

What organization do you represent on the FRCA board and what is your job there?22cc61a

I represent Rowe Professional Services Company where I work as a planner.

How long have you been a board member with the FRCA?  What prompted you to want to join the board?

I have been on the FRCA Board since January of 2016.  I was an unofficial proxy for 6 months prior to that for Jack Wheatley. I have a history of involvement with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy since 2007 but as my life has changed and brought me to the Flint area, I have tried to focus on being active in this region.

What is your favorite program or project the FRCA has been involved with or is currently helping out with in Flint?

I am very excited about all the projects we have going on right now.  Most importantly the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project which will allow for the public to interact with the river in a way that has not been possible for half a century.  I am also excited about upcoming projects like the bike share program and the revitalization of Riverbank Park and that master plan.

What would you like people to know about the FRCA?

#itsnottheriver is what I would like people to know about the Flint River and this natural resource that the Flint River Corridor Alliance is bound to promote, protect, while representing and supporting the surrounding community.

Share a memory of the Flint River or tell us what is your favorite part about the river.

While I am not a native of the area (I grew up 30 minutes south of here), my memories are more recent.  This summer while taking my lunchtime walk along the river and through Riverbank Park, I could not help but to notice how interested people were in what was going on.  It was a couple weeks after the Flotilla and people were still talking about it.  Others were talking about what was going to happen in Riverbank Park and still others were interested in when the Hamilton Dam was going to be demolished.  This was on a random Tuesday afternoon and it seemed like every little faction of citizens or students I came across were talking about the river.  It was great to hear and see and I hope that we can keep those people interested, engaged, and pleased with our efforts at the Flint River Corridor Alliance.

Alisa Craig, MS

What organization do you represent on the FRCA board and what is your job there?AlisaC bandw headshot (2)

I represent Hurley Medical Center – I am an Administrator.  I oversee all of our Wellness and Population Health initiatives for our own employees, our patients, and community at-large.

How long have you been a board member with the FRCA?  What prompted you to want to join the board?

I subbed for a few months when another Hurley employee was on maternity leave in 2014 and then became a permanent board the summer of 2015.

What is your favorite program or project the FRCA has been involved with or is currently helping out with in Flint?

I have loved being involved with the yearly Flotilla.  It really is wonderful seeing so many people enjoy the recreational aspects of the Flint River. I am excited to now be on the sub-group working on Chevy Commons programming.  I think our Hurley employees will take advantage of this – whether it be for walking, running, biking ,etc.

What would you like people to know about the FRCA?

The FRCA is a very passionate group from very diverse organizations who come together because we share the same vision for the Flint River and surrounding areas.

Share a memory of the Flint River or tell us what is your favorite part about the river.

Volunteering at the Flint River Flotilla the past two years – – hearing so many people say how much they enjoyed their float and hearing how beautiful they thought the river was really was great! Plus – talking with local people who came out to watch the Flotilla (mostly Mott Park neighbors) – -they really were proud of the event!

FLINT, MI – Nearly 150 people came out to float down the Flint River Saturday for the Flint River Corridor Alliance’s annual “Flotilla.”

Organization leaders were hoping this year was more successful than their 2014 “Flotilla.”

“It is important to get people out here,” said FRCA’s Director, Janet Van De Winkle. “The Flint River is something that is worth celebrating. It’s worth protecting and it’s just fun.”

The “Flotilla” is the organization’s yearly fundraiser to help raise money for various projects along the Flint River. Last year’s event drew in about 100 attendees. An official count estimated this year’s event had closer to 150 participants.

The event cost $10 per person. Children under 12 were admitted free.

Both Randy and Marti Voto said they enjoyed the event.

“We just got our kayaks this spring,” said Marti Voto of Swartz Creek. “We wanted to go down the river but didn’t want to do it alone. This was a really nice event. The river is obviously cleaned up a lot. It has little ways to go but it was wonderful. I hope they do it again.”

People floated down a stretch of the river in inner tubes, kayaks, canoes and other floatation devices around 1 p.m. with floaters in kayaks and canoes making it in around 2:30 and participants floating in other devices like inner tubes coming in shortly after.

“It was fun. We enjoyed it,” said Lara Garrison who canoed down the river with her husband Todd Gebhart. “We just recently moved back here. I’m glad to see that Flint has more activities than when we used to live here.”

The Flint couple recently moved back to Flint after being away for 17 years.

“We just love everything they are doing,” she said. “We look forward to them doing it again next year.”

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