As part of the Kalamazoo River Watershed, the City of Charlotte, Olivet and Village of Bellevue have an obligation to educate their residents about water quality and the effects pollutants have on our natural resources. One fun way to do that is to encourage people to take advantage of the recreational opportunities our waterways provide.

This year, the three municipalities have come together to provide a fun, recreational and educational event on Saturday, July 19 — Kanoe the Kazoo. Participants will gather at Shrontz Memorial Park in Olivet Saturday morning to depart on a one-to-two hour float along Indian Creek, ending up back at Shrontz Memorial Park for a barbecue lunch.

“I thought this opportunity sounded like something cool for our community,” said Matt Griffith with the City of Charlotte’s wastewater treatment facility. “I will provide a short educational piece at the end.”

Griffith said the Charlotte, Olivet and Bellevue have an obligation to help raise awareness about non-point source pollution that threatens water quality in the watershed. Each municipality must closely monitor the amount of phosphorous it contributes back into the watershed as part of its TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) agreement with the State of Michigan. Participating in educational events such as Kanoe the Kazoo, which is held in communities throughout the watershed, is one way of fulfilling its obligation, Griffith said.

Participants must register for the event by Monday, July 14 and may do so by contacting Griffith at (517) 231-2324 or stopping into Olivet City Hall.

There is a cost involved if participants need to rent a canoe, paddles and life jackets. Griffith said people are more than welcome to bring their own canoe or kayak.

For more information you may contact Matt Griffith with the City of Charlotte at 517-231-2324 or Robert Betts with the City of Olivet at 269-317-2220.