Whitehouse Nature Center Fosters Conversation on Kalamazoo River’s Future

February 12, 2019

The future of the Kalamazoo River is the topic of a community conversation February 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the Ludington Center in downtown Albion.

Nicole Wood, director of Albion College’s Whitehouse Nature Center, believes the best way to help the Kalamazoo River is to talk about and understand the Kalamazoo River. And, thanks to a grant program from the Michigan Humanities Council, a conversation to do just that will take place Wednesday, February 13.

Called “RiverTalk Albion: Connecting the Kalamazoo River Community,” Albion will host one of two community conversations centered on linking resources, lives and livelihoods to the river, which runs past the Nature Center and through downtown Albion and which remains a valuable and vital part of Michigan. The Kalamazoo River Watershed Council will host a second session in Allegan at a date and time to be determined.

The Albion event is free and open to the public and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ludington Center, 101. N. Superior St. Refreshments will be provided, and a casual networking session will continue afterward at Albion Malleable Brewing Co., 420 S. Superior St.

Wood, who has helped coordinate the event along with the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, hopes the meeting will start a dialogue about the river and what’s needed to help it thrive.

“What we really hope is we can get people involved with the river and help get them connected and interacting with the river,” she said. “We want to get people talking about how to best help the river move forward.”

Wood said the conversation will start at the grassroots level and that every idea to help the river is a viable one.

“It’s going to be more of a discussion between folks,” she said. “It’s not like we’ll have lectures. It’s people talking to each other and then we’ll break into different groups based on interest. Whether it’s invasive species or recreation or government policy, it’s a chance to get people talking among each other and creating connections. We want to get the word out that there’s a big beautiful river here. And hopefully, we can get more people to come out to the river and enjoy it. And if they enjoy it, they’ll want to protect it.”

For more information, contact Nicole Wood at [email protected] or 517-629-0582. More information on the event can be found at https://kalamazooriver.org/events/