Mill Creek Yacht Club 122nd Voyage
The Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities (Council) embarked on its longest canoe float on June 11, with members from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Transportation, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The day began with Commodore Bruce Koehler inducting the newest members of the Mill Creek Yacht Club. The “rookies” were forced to dance down a line of paddles as part of their initiation. With a smell of sunblock lingering in the air, it was time to get paddling!
With 32 participants total on the State of Ohio agency float, everyone stepped into canoes at Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Along the water it was easy to spot several carp, soft-shelled turtles and geese. Dr. Michael Miller helped explain the inner workings of aquatic ecology in the Mill Creek.
It was a very warm day, but the weather could not have been better for the six-mile stretch. Especially since this particular float had been rescheduled several times because of rain.
There was a beautiful mix of nature and industry along the way. From the side of the Mill Creek, people snapped pictures of the paddlers with confused expressions. People canoeing the Mill Creek, how can that be safe? Koehler simply explained we were “looking for alligators,” which brought a smile to the onlookers faces.
Sitting in a yellow kayak, Jennifer Eismeier spoke about the Council’s next large-scale restoration project at Hartwell Golf Course. The location happened to be along the route, which gave people a nice visual of the future plans.
Exhausted, sweaty and thirsty, we finished our trip at Salway Park, in Northside. Water, snacks and even brownies were provided for everyone. Hand sanitizer suddenly became liquid gold. Once people had a chance to catch their breath, the gang concluded the evening at Boswell’s with drinks and food.
The Council is happy to show our state agencies a first-hand view of the current state of the Mill Creek and explore with them future plans for the Mill Creek Watershed. Thank you to everyone for a great trip on the Mill Creek!