Last week members of the Marshall County Park and Recreation Board received an update from the Canoe/Kayak Committee.  Terry Borggren, committee chairman and West Township Trustee said they had 8 people attend their first meeting with a few more interested. 

The committee is looking for locations along the Yellow River from Bremen to the Marshall/Starke County line to add some locations to put-in or get-out of the river.  The hope is that as the County works on bridge replacement and improvement projects they might be able to assist with recreational access and parking.  

Borggren said there are 21 bridges that cross over the Yellow River and it has 37 nautical miles in Marshall County between 106 in Bremen and the Marshall/Starke County line.    He said three of the bridges are slated for reconstruction: King Road which has already started, 11th Road and Upas Road along with the bridge at the Marshall/Starke County Line that is slated for a reconstruction by Starke County.  Borggren said most of the bridges that cross the Yellow River have minimal right-of-way and very little road for recreational access.

Marshall County does have 40 to 50 feet of right-of-way at the Hickory Road bridge, King Road bridge, Glenn Overmyer bridge, 12th Road bridge, and 13th Road bridge.   The committee looked for potential locations that would create 2-to-4-hour floats starting at 106 where Bremen is going to install a launch.  Borggren said the committee felt Hickory Road, King Road, 12th Road, 13th Road, Peach Road, and State Road 17 would be good places to create launch sites. Prioritizing those locations to four the committee felt Hickory Road which already has a small limestone parking area, 12 Road, Peach Road which the county would need to acquire some land and Upas Road would be best.

Borggren said Starke County is ahead of Marshall County on the idea of recreating on the river and hired a company to conduct a feasibility study of the river for launches for about $5,000.  Last year Starke County applied for a Destination Development Grant.  They weren’t awarded but they did share the grant application with Borggren. 

County Park Board member Adam Thada said he thought they could apply for a grant from the Arrowhead Resource Conservation and Development grant for a feasibility study.  The grant is for up to $5,000 and he said the application is fairly simple.

The County Park Board members decided to look into the grant and Secretary Deb VanDeMark said she would attempt to complete the grant. 

The County Council also approved the County Park Board applying for the Arrowhead grant during their meeting Monday with Tim Harman abstaining from voting because he wanted more information about the grant.