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All About the Project

The Cedar River Waterway and Park Project will improve access for all to the three-mile winding river through a wilderness sanctuary into Lake Leelanau. The project’s goal is to enhance the watershed quality and fish habitat while providing the only truly universally accessible water access in Leelanau County.

Who will benefit from this project?

Everyone who wants to explore the Cedar River, a hidden gem of the county, or picnic along its banks in downtown Cedar; the adjacent Cedar Fire and Rescue Station as it will have improved water access for its pumping trucks; and downtown Cedar businesses and restaurants serving both residents and visitors alike.

Project Details

In partnership with the Solon Township Board, The Cedar River Waterway and Park project is part of a greater community led grassroots improvement initiative for Solon Township Parks.  We have been actively planning for two years, consulting with civil engineers, the DNR, regulatory agencies and stakeholders.

The project will include:

Enhanced Fish Habitat: Dredging and the installation of artificial and natural underwater structures will improve fish habitat in the park. Fed by multiple cold-water springs, the river empties into Lake Leelanau which then empties into Lake Michigan at the town of Leland. The watershed is ideal for supporting a variety of species of sport fish.  The project will provide bait fish with hiding places as well as areas for algae, plankton, and other food sources to grow.  The adjacent shoreline and proposed deck will offer great places for fishing.

Improved Water Quality: Creation of rain gardens and vegetative filters will slow water runoff, trap sediment, and improve overall water quality. These filters will trap fertilizers, pesticides, pathogens, and heavy metals, and prevent them from entering the river.

Greater Access: Reconstruction of the existing boat launch and a new fishing/observation deck will improve access for all to experience the beauty of the natural resources along the Cedar River and into Lake Leelanau. The new boat launch will include the county’s first wheelchair lift, and new bathrooms will allow visitors with mobility challenges to fully enjoy the watershed.

Improved Safety: Redesign of the area will provide faster access to the river for rescue services and provide a year-round water supply for the adjacent Cedar Area Fire and Rescue Department.