The Traverse Area Paddle Club (formerly the Cherry Capital Paddle America Club) was founded in 1999 and functions as a group of friends and acquaintances going on canoeing and kayaking trips, both on rivers and lakes.
As our membership grew, several members became interested in having the club serve as a steward of the environment. So we began to organize river cleanups as occasional events, inviting other members to participate in removing the trash that littered both the rivers and their banks.
The frequency of these cleanups increased, and in 2004 a few members decided to try a one day, total cleanup on the Boardman River from the Forks to Grand Traverse Bay: about 25 miles of river.
The club decided to include a picnic, raffle, tee shirts and small gifts for the younger participants. We tried to involve the community and local schools. The event is called the Boardman River Clean Sweep ( Link to Boardman River Cleansweep Website )
Over the years this event has allowed us to remove thousands of pounds of trash from the Boardman River, and it has become an annual event. We have received praise and awards from the American Canoe Association and local businesses.
Along with our supporting organizations, the Grand Traverse Conservation District (GTCD), the Kingsley High School 4H Challenge Club, the Adams Chapter of Trout Unlimited and many local businesses and professional people, and with grants from the Great Lakes Commission, LL Bean, Anheiser Busch, Trout Unlimited, DTE Energy, and the National Cherry Festival, we have successfully completed 5 BRCS events and another is planned for the spring of 2010.
Follow this link to see an article about the 2010 event. Morning Star article about Boardman River Clean Sweep
(See letter from GTCD Thank you from the Grand Traverse Conservation District)
(See letter from Kingsley High School 4H Club) Thank You Letter From Kingsley High School 4H
Below are two photos of the work done by the Grand Traverse Conservation District to keep the Boardman River clear of obstructions.
Our raffles have produced over $5000 that has been donated to the Grand Traverse Conservation District for river restoration and to the KHS clubs for their projects and events. None of the raffle proceeds has been retained by the TAPC.
The Boardman is not the only river we clean. In 2009 alone, our members also cleaned the Pine, Jordan, Betsie, the South and North Branches of the AuSable, Upper and Lower Platte, and Sturgeon. Check the current event calendar for the cleanuip trips scheduled this year. They are in green type.
August 18, 2012 the Pine River Paddlesports Center awarded the TAPC with $100 check for our efforts at cleaning the Pine River. Pine River Paddlesports Center Awards prize to TAPC. Below is a photo from one of our Pine River cleanups.
This year (2010) we will assist the YMCA and the GTCD with canoe outings for youngsters on the Boardman River acting as chaperones and safety guides.
We are also involved with introducing paddlesports to the community at large, and offer free workshops to teach both adults and children how to get started in the sports, including boat buying, where to go, what to wear and how to enjoy safe outings on our local waterways.