The Friends is expanding its educational programs for school-aged youth using hands-on, boots-in river activities. Our goal of $3,500 will help pay for staff & water exploration materials – opening the eyes/minds of nature’s future caregivers.

We reached our goal! A HUGE thank you to each of our donors!

The Friends' met our $3,500 goal for Giving Tuesday thanks to the donations of 41 individuals like you!  And, thanks to challenge grants from other Friends, we gained $10,500 in pledged matches. Our Giving Tuesday total this year will be $14,000!
We truly appreciate your $25 gift and will use these funds in 2020 to boost our outreach and educational efforts, including the work of our Stream Team river monitoring program.  This will include: Stream Team equipment, salary for Sarah (our Stream Team coordinator), salary for a new staff person to come on board in 2020, and staff Stream Team traveling expenses.  To learn more about what the Stream Team is all about, please read 2019 report. And if this piques your interest, you might want to contact us about becoming a Stream Team volunteer!!
The Giving Tuesday effort has truly been part of the best year ever for the Friends. We look forward to growing our service to the community and caring for the River we all hold dear.



For more information on our stream monitoring program and how you can get involved click here!




– The Friends of the Shiawassee River has received a $14,400 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting their Stream Team volunteer water monitoring program.

“Consumers Energy is committed to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources, especially the preservation and restoration of flowing waters in our home state,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, secretary/treasurer of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “As a tributary to the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, we look forward to seeing the positive impact this contribution to the Friends of the Shiawassee River will have on the water quality of all three freshwater resources.”

The grant will support the expansion and development of the Stream Team program from Holly to St. Charles. Currently, through Stream Team efforts, the river is monitored twice annually at 10 sites along the approximately 100-mile stretch. Teams of trained leaders and interested volunteers collect, identify, and count a variety of benthic macroinvertebrates (“bugs”). Based on the number and type of macroinvertebrates collected at a testing site, a water quality rating is assigned to that stretch of the river – using standards set by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) program.

If you are interested in participating in this program please contact Sarah Baker at



2019 Annual Meeting and Celebration

The meeting was held on Tuesday, January 22nd at the Wrought Iron Grill.  The event focused on our 2018 highlights, special award winners, grants, a featured speaker, business/individual sponsors, and Friends’ board members.

“The Annual Meeting allows us to recognize the efforts of our organization, those who comprise it, and businesses and individuals whose efforts help us carry out our mission,” said Nick Tereck, Friends’ Board President. “We are fortunate to have so many champions.  It is important to gather together in celebration.”

The special awards were given to the following:

CARE AWARD – Keith and Diane Johnson

SHARE AWARD – Ludington Electric

ENJOY AWARD – Amy Kirkland


Because of the annual meeting’s date/time conflict with the Owosso City Council’s meeting, Amy Kirkland, who also serves as Owosso’s City Clerk, was presented with her award at the City Council meeting.

The featured speaker for the evening was Dr. Patrick Doran, Associate State Director & Director of Conservation for the Nature Conservancy in Michigan, who spoke about how the Shiawassee River connects to the Great Lakes.

“We are all rooted in place. However, our places -- like the Shiawassee -- are also part of regional and global systems, like the Great Lakes,” said Doran.  “If we can maintain our connection to place while also seeing our potential contribution to the larger world, we can vastly magnify the impact of our actions.”

Tom Cook, Friends’ Past President who also serves as a Trustee with the Nature Conservancy in Michigan, continued, “We were pleased to hear from a renowned scientist that our efforts on the Shiawassee can help make Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron healthier.  We all live downstream, and need to be good stewards for the people and wildlife that live downstream from us.”

Other acknowledgements that occurred at the meeting included the following list of 2018 business sponsors including Alderman’s, Inc., CLH Insurance, Downtown Owosso Farmers Market, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Hankerd Sportswear, J & S Tire, Ludington Electric, Mancino’s Pizza, Matador Pizza, Maurer Heating and Cooling, Oster Manufacturing, The Schluckebier/Hood Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, Shiawassee County Health Department, Vogl, Meder, & Dorcey, PLLC, Waste Management, Wrought Iron Grill, Young Buick GMC, and Young Chevrolet.  A list of individual stream team site sponsors were also acknowledged, including Barb Brownlee, Gary Burk, Tom Cook & Anna Owens, Dean & Carolyn Ebert, Betsy Hull, Frank Livingston, Mike Selleck, Tom Teal & Jeannine Hopfensperger, Nick Tereck & Mike Kramer, Jim & Jillian Woodworth, and the Wrought Iron Grill.

The Friends’ Executive Director, Lorraine Austin, also gave special mention to the Friends’ 2018 board of directors including Gary Burk, Carson Colbry, Tom Cook (Past President), Mike Goergen, Betsy Hull, Joanne Kenyon (Treasurer), Frank Livingston, Karen Marumoto, Tony Newman, Lance Omer, Linda Robertson (Vice President), Nick Tereck (President), Matt Van Epps (Secretary), and Kristina Yaklin.  Certificates of Appreciation were given to Kenyon, Newman, and Yaklin as outgoing board members.

New board members, Jake Adams, Jeff Deason, and Erika Tyrell, as well as board renewals, were presented to the membership for approval. Their terms will run until 2022. 


Thanks for helping us reach our #GivingTuesday goal!

Our goal was $1,800 – to support six school stream team water monitoring efforts up and down the Shiawassee for 2019.  Not only did we raise $1,820, but the Cook Family Foundation has contributed another $1,000 – to make our grand total $2,820!




Friends was just one of 17 participating nonprofit organizations that were a part of this endeavor to #raiseUPshiawassee and we wanted to share the results with you:

  • Almost $72,000 raised among all of the participating organizations
  • Over 200 new donors
  • Approximately 80 new volunteers who expressed interest in volunteering among the organizations
  • A wide variety of other benefits to the organizations, including:
    • 5 class registrations
    • 3 new members
    • 40 bags of food donations
    • 3 garbage bags full of gently used stuffed animals for children
    • 7 game/book donations
    • 2 pet adoptions and additional foster animal adoptions
    • Lots of pet food and cleaning supplies

That just goes to show that we are stronger together!


We're Officially In Our New Office!

Our New office space is located at 538 N. Shiawassee St. Corunna, Mi

On October 17, 2018 Chamber Ambassadors, Friends' Board Members and City of Corunna officials gathered for a ribbon cutting. Holding the big scissors is Nick Tereck, president of the board and to his left is interim executive director, Lorraine Austin. The office is hosting an open house this Sunday, October 21st. For more information here:


Support Friends of the Shiawassee River through AmazonSmile!

If you already order off of Amazon why not donate to Friends of the Shiawassee River while doing so, at no extra charge! The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to our organization.

How does it work?

Just click the following link  and agree to have your donation go to Friends. After that just be sure to go to before making your purchases. Thank you so much for your support!

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