We Need You!

The Lower Boardman River holds immense ecological, recreational, economic, spiritual and cultural values for a wide spectrum of interests and is integral to the well-being and quality of life of Downtown Traverse City and the greater community.

Civic engagement and the reflection of values is essential to the development of this Unified Plan.  All interests should see themselves and their role in this Plan to the extent possible.

The first round of public engagement has commenced and the Lower Boardman River Leadership Team will begin working on a Unified Plan based on data received from the engagement sessions, stakeholder meetings, and survey results. A draft plan will then be introduced at several public engagement sessions planned for the late fall 2019.


Public Engagement Data

Survey Results

An online survey was available to the public from June – September 2019. The online survey had over 500 respondents. The survey was promoted at public engagement sessions and a postcard was sent to City Residents.

Public Engagement Kick-Off Feedback

The Lower Boardman River Leadership Team hosted a public engagement kick-off session on June 12, 2019.

Two Weeks Input Sessions

Several pop up engagement sessions were held in August 2019. A number of topics were rated by the public on importance as it pertained to the river.

FishPass Facilitated Meetings

Through an online form and two meetings on October 15, 2019, the public asked questions regarding the FishPass Project. Approximately 200 questions were asked and addressed by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.


Public Engagement Activity

Lower Boardman River Leadership Team Facilitates FishPass Meetings

Have a question or several questions about the FishPass Project at the Union Street Dam? The Lower Boardman River Leadership Team is working with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to address community inquiries. Questions were compiled through an online questionnaire and two public meetings on October 15th. The Fishery Commission will work to provide the answers and present at a public meeting on October 30, 2019 at the City Opera House from 5:30 – 7 pm.

To learn more see the press release here.


Two Weeks of Input Sessions!

A two week marathon on public engagement opportunities was held in August 2019.


Focus Group Public Engagement Meetings

The Lower Boardman River Leadership Team will host Focus Group Meetings seeking input on the crafting of Unified Plan. Meetings are slated for July 24th and 25th at the City Opera House.


Public Engagement Kick-Off

The Lower Boardman River Leadership Team hosted a Public Engagement Kick-Off event on June 12th. Over 100 attended and provided feedback on areas such as conservation, access, use, planning efforts, and more! The input will be compiled and evaluated as we move forward with the Public Engagement Plan. Thanks to all that could attend! Providing input is crucial for the development of a Unified Plan for the Lower Boardman River.


Public Meeting Presentations

City Commission:

July 6, 2019
August 16, 2019
November 18, 2019

Planning Commission:

August 7, 2019


Public Engagement Plan

Just as the Lower Boardman River has a personality that takes on many forms and shapes depending upon the season, its flow and location, the unifying plan for the Lower River will reflect differing values, perspectives and uses of the River.  What is essential is that this process, much like that of the process to determine the fate of the Boardman River Dams, must include and welcome through civic engagement all of the many interests in the Boardman to develop a plan that is truly unifying and has the backing and consensus to be implemented. A Public Engagement Plan has been created to guide the Leadership Team as they seek community participation.

Continued Engagement

We know the planning process and the plan itself will evolve.  The LBR Leadership Teams’ goal at every event will be to stimulate ideas and creative thinking about the Lower Boardman and to provide continuing opportunities for everyone to provide feedback about ideas and about the plan and about the River as those things unfold.  The Team’s intention is that community members promote public meeting dates, encourage access and use of the project website, and share information with other community members.

The River Guardian in Downtown Traverse City