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River event brings awareness to river safety and recreation

A paddling event in Osceola County aims to bring awareness to river safety and the importance of river recreation.


The goal of the event is to make paddlers more aware of  safety on the river...things like the importance of wearing life jackets, and understanding currents.

Jayna Wekenman is co chair of the Big Rapids Area River Safety Project.

“Part of our mission is to promote safer interactions with the river, so we figured that actually engaging in recreation on the river would be the route that we’d want to take.”

Wekenman said the original plan was to show statistics on river danger, but she said they didn’t want to scare people away from the river.

She said river recreation brings tourists and commerce to river-based communities and it’s important to promote proper river etiquette.

The event schedule is as follows:


Day 1: Friday, Aug. 3rd. Leaving @ 8:00am - Evart, MI (Riverside Park West) to Northend Park, Big Rapids, MI - 9+ hr trip. Almost 28 miles.

Day 2: Saturday, Aug. 4th. Leaving @ 9:00am - Northend Park, Big Rapids, MI to Brower’s Park - 7+ hr trip. Approx 20.5 miles.

Day 3: Sunday, Aug. 5th. Leaving @ 10:00am - Brower’s Park to Croton Dam - 5+ hr trip. Almost 12 miles.

Day 4: Monday, Aug. 6th. Leaving @ 9:00am - Croton Dam to Newaygo, MI - 5-6 hr trip. Approx 14 miles.