Apr 18 2011

HP Landing high water !!

Friday April 15th 2011, the wind blew out of the East for most of the day! That raised the water level in the Western Lake Erie basin, which also raised the Ottawa River level by 5 feet !!!

below are pictures of the HP Landing while the winds were blowing.

Mar 26 2011

Steve Pollick is April’s guest speaker !!

Steve Pollick will be the guest speaker at the April 26TH meeting, presenting a slide show of Canoeing the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers!

Mr. Pollick has been a staff member of The Blade newspaper in Toledo since 1971 and its outdoors editor since 1982. His bylined stories and columns also have appeared in local, regional, state, and national magazines for more than 40 years. He is also columnist of the Ohio Outdoor News, since 2005 (http://outdoornews.com/ohio/blogs/steve_pollick/)

Bio provided by Ohio Outdoor News

Mar 23 2011

Luna Pier canoe/kayak Lake Erie shore project

This was published in the Monroe Evening News –  Thursday, December 2, 2010,

I thought this would be of interest to know what is happening in the area!

Funding may come through for Luna Pier, Flat Rock projects

Recreation-related projects in Luna Pier and Flat Rock are among 117 statewide that have been recommended for funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Luna Pier is being recommended for $490,000 to improve access to Lake Erie , including a new beachhouse and restrooms, beach access sites, a kayak launch and amenities.

Flat Rock is being recommended to receive $447,900 for developing a 1.9-mile trail linking the Flat Rock Greenway to Oakwoods Metropark, as part of the 23-mile greenways project in southeast Michigan .

They were among the 117 projects chosen from 165 applications for funding and part of $102 million to be funded in 2011.

The trust fund is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide funding for acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation. The funding is derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights.

The recommendations go to Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who will forward them to the Legislature for appropriation from the trust fund. Typically, this part of the process is completed by the end of the summer following the trust fund board’s recommendations.

Mar 22 2011

HP Landing open for the season !

The City of Toledo removed the chain from the ramp today, Monday March 21st 2011!  Now we can access the platform for the season, and there also was water surrounding the floating platform! Here is a picture, provided by Steven Day, that he took of the “assist system“, which can help beginers and physically challenged people trying to enter/exit a canoe or kayak safely!

Mar 18 2011

NWORR Logo ?

For the March 22nd  meeting, let’s think about a logo for the club!

I’m sure that we can come up with a great design and words, that would represent the goals of the club!!

We could then have some Tee shirts made up with the club logo!!

Mar 18 2011

Getting out the “GREEN” for St. Patrick’s Day!!

Someone forgot to tell this kayaker, that getting out the green for St. Patrick’s Day, didn’t necessarily mean getting their green kayak out on the Ottawa River, for the first warm and sunny day this year!! But I bet this person had just as much fun kayaking, as others celebrating in another way!!

Mar 17 2011

You’re invited to the HP Landing dedication – April 18th @ 1pm !

The Howard Pinkley Landing will be dedicated on

Monday  April 18th,  at 1 pm-

rain or shine, located at 2290 Shoreland Ave. Toledo, Ohio

Those invited include:

Ohio Division of Watercraft

City of Toledo

Local Yacht Clubs

And YOU!

You are  also invited to attend a gathering for refreshments and conversation afterwords, at the Friendship Park Community Center, at 2930 131st St. in Point Place.

Please RSVP and for any questions about the dedication,

call Howard Pinkley at 419-343-2751

Since parking will be at a minimum, plan on getting there early!

Or- paddle in, why not- what a way to show out support of the landing and promote our club!

If you would like to paddle in, contact Bob, nscaleloco@yahoo.com

to launch from a private dock across the river from HP Landing.

For location of the HP Landing on a map, please look under

“Public Landing Sites” along the right edge.

Mar 15 2011

Steve Pollick’s Sunday’s article about NWORR 3-13-2011

Here is a copy of Steve Pollick’s article printed in the Toledo Blade Sunday March 13th, 2011, containing  “Visions of Cullen Park” and NWORR (in Yellow hi-lite!)!

‘Point’ is epicenter for restoring gem

Cullen Park boat launch, basin slated for dredging to better tie into ship way


Big things to benefit recreational users of the Maumee River and Bay and western Lake Erie — from anglers and waterfowlers to boaters, canoeists, and kayakers — are under way out Point Place way.

Two groups of interested residents in this high-energy Toledo waterside community, along with cooperative city and state authorities, are polishing up two diamonds in the rough — Cullen Park and the lower Ottawa River — with an eye to turning them collectively into a crown jewel of water recreation.

A major dredging project is set for July through October to create a wide, easily navigable channel connecting the Cullen launch ramps, just off Summit Street, with the main Toledo Ship Channel in the Maumee River. In recent years the shallow surrounding waters have become so silted that the ramps often seem usable for little more than floating rubber duckies. Strong southwest winds turn it into little more than mudflats.

But a Point Place group, acting under the banner of Visions of Cullen Park, has secured a $400,000 grant from the Ohio Division of Watercraft and $100,000 in city money for the dredging. Dale Rupert, dredging project engineer for the city, noted the plan was sketched out in 2008, “and it’s finally coming to fruition.”

The waters around the ramps and docks will be dredged to eight feet deep at low-water datum [normal level is two feet higher], and an 80-foot-wide, 4,000-foot-long channel will stretch to the Ship Channel which is maintained at 28 feet by the Army Corps of Engineers. The channel will be at least five feet deep at low-water, said Rupert, “so we’ll have seven feet of water most times.

“When it blows southwest you’ve still got water to get in.” Rupert added that “the boating that has been going north and east now will be able to come back to Toledo.”

Indeed, the Visions group promotes it thusly in a summary:

“When completed Cullen Park will be the only deepwater access for 20 miles of shoreline around the Toledo area. Boaters will be only five minutes from their trailer to some of the best walleye fishing in Lake Erie. We would like to see some large fishing tournaments for the spring walleye run and increased use in the fall by duck hunters and fishermen alike when normally there is not enough water to float a boat.”

Gene Kidd, Visions co-chairman and himself an avid angler and waterfowler, said angling opportunities in the lower river and its mouth and the bay are often overlooked and may surprise some fishermen. Gravel bars and shoreline structure attract both walleye and bass seasonally, he said.

While the new Cullen Park channel is the linchpin of the Visions plan, it is not all, not by a long shot. An application, due by April 1, is being drawn up for another state watercraft grant, which if awarded would seriously revamp the ramps-parking-docking in the park as well.

“We started out small to get some improvements in the park and it has just blown out of sight,” said Vee Stader, Visions founder and co-chairman. “We’re going to get the dredging done, that’s the big thing, starting in July.” A 76-year-old great-grandmother, Stader calls Visions “my last hurrah.”

Initially it was hoped to start dredging April 1, but it was delayed so as not to interfere with the spring walleye and white bass spawning runs up the river. By happy coincidence, the new channel should be done in time for the 50-year anniversary of Cullen Park, which was dedicated Oct. 20, 1961.

“When the dredging [grant] came through, it changed the whole approach,” said Steve Day, a landscape architect with the city division of engineering services. “What it shows,” adds Denny Garvin, commissioner of parks and forestry, “is that the city is serious. Vee and the Visions for Cullen Park group are a model of best practices for getting things done. They’ve been very inclusive. [Visions] will be a whole other boating experience.”

Visions also has been consistent and persistent, said Day. “It started out as a brainstorming session at one of our meetings,” noted Gary Anderson, immediate past president of the Point Place Business Association.

As for the reasons behind the pending grant application for launch-ramp and park improvements, Day explained that no improvements have been made since the 1970s and an upgrade to current standards is necessary.

While final details of the ramp-dock-parking plan are being fine-tuned, improvements deemed worth pursuing include reducing the number of ramps from four to three but making them wider and up to current standards, this in conjunction with a new courtesy dock to aid in staging and traffic management at the ramps.

Parking lanes for trailer rigs also would be widened from 10 feet to 11 feet, while retaining room for 101 rigs.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Ottawa River side of the Point’s ambitious water recreation plans. Enter Point entrepreneur and promoter Howard Pinkley, one of the spark plugs behind the new and thriving Northwest Ohio River Runners.

NWORR is a family-style canoe, kayak, and rowing-shell organization to promote hand-powered water sports. It is based on the Ottawa River but maintains a reach limited only by draft of the craft in use. A year old, the club now has 50 members and is open to welcoming more.

The River Runners meet the fourth Tuesday of the month [March 22 upcoming] at 6:30 p.m. at Friendship Park Community Center on 131st Street.

The base of operations for club and casual paddling is at Riviera Park, 2300 Shoreland Ave., using the broad flat stretch of the restored river between the Suder Avenue and Summit Street bridges. “Nobody is using that part of the river,” noted Pinkley. “It’s ideal. You can come here and paddle anytime you want.”

NWORR president Dave Zobler said that in-seasons meetings are held on the river, with two-hour trips part of the program.

The paddlers also have navigated Swan Creek and Halfway Creek on the Michigan side. Emphasis is on family involvement.

“The whole concept is how can we get kids off the streets, out of drugs, and bring families together,” said Pinkley.

It does not take too much of a stretch of imagination to see a flotilla of NWORR paddlers some summer evening soon, setting out from Riviera Park and following the Ottawa shoreline out and around the Point and thence up the Maumee to the courtesy docks as the re-Visioned Cullen Park.

To learn more about Visions of Cullen Park, contact Kidd at 419-726-2491 or e-mail him at gunandalake@aol.com. For the paddlers, visit online at www.NWORR.org.

Commentary: The community action efforts of Visions for Cullen Park mesh wonderfully with efforts of the new and growing NWORR. These initiatives collectively are the role model, a lesson, for how individuals, communities, and arms of government — in this case local and state — can work together and get things done. All hands deserve hearty applause. Can you imagine what kind of country this might be if this example was followed all the way to Columbus and Washington, D.C., and beyond? What a contrast with the ugly, petty, polarized, political backstabbing that characterizes too much of the ways things currently are being [or not getting] done.

Mar 03 2011

February’s Meeting !

The February meeting had a large turn out!  Charlie Scott, Commodore from Toledo Yacht Club talked about the Silver Cup trophy they donated to NWORR for the one man kayak races! Tim Crites past Commodore of Ottawa River Yacht Club, talked about the Gold Cup that they donated for the one man rowing shell races. Howard Pinkley described the Trophy that Blue Ribbon Trophy, donated for the canoe races. All the trophies are perpetual trophies and will be on display at the Friendship Park Community Center, as soon as we obtain a display cabinet. Sandy Bihn gave a great slide show presentation on the condition and abuse of Lake Erie!

Howard Pinkley and Charllie Scott- TYC Commodore

Tim Crites past ORYC Commodore

Howard Pinkley with the perpetual race trophies

Mar 03 2011

Steve Pollick to write an article about the Club!

On Thursday March 3rd, Steve Pollick came out to Howard Pinkley’s Flag Shop to meet with some of the club officers. He wanted to learn what the club is about and our activities/events for the canoe/kayak season, to write an article for a future  column of His! We hope this will give the club some much needed publicity, outside of the Point Place/Shoreland area, that  canoeing and kayaking is open to all accessible water ways in the Ohio and Michigan regional area!

Steve Pollick and Howard Pinkley talking about future club events

Steve Pollick taking notes while interviewing club officers