Paw Paw River advocate receives Stewardship Award

    Paw Paw - The Friends of the St. Joe River Association has presented the 2019 “Al Smith Watershed Stewardship Award” to Kevin Haight of Hartford. The award was established in 2012 in honor of the group’s founder, to recognize individuals who “share their passion with others for the health of one or more rivers, streams and/or lakes in the St. Joseph River Watershed.”
    Haight is passionate about raising awareness around issues involving the Paw Paw River, which is an important tributary of the St. Joseph River. He serves as the president of the Two Rivers Coalition, a non-profit organization working to protect and preserve the Paw Paw and Black Rivers.
    Haight has been instrumental in developing and promoting the Paw Paw River Water Trail with the belief that getting people out on the river will increase their interest in protecting it.
    His passion for the Paw Paw River is evident in the numerous public presentations he provides. One of his earliest efforts to bring attention to the river was his “Paw Paw River Odyssey,” when he paddled all 66 miles of the Paw Paw River and blogged about his experiences.
    Haight also volunteers his time to do water quality monitoring and sampling with the Van Buren Conservation District. He affectionately refers to the St. Joseph River as the “Big South Branch of the Paw Paw” and his passion for the river makes him a deserving recipient of the Al Smith Watershed Stewardship Award.
    The St. Joseph River Watershed covers 15 counties in Michigan and Indiana. It is customary to display the award in the local library of the recipient. For 2019, the award will be on display in honor of Kevin Haight at the Paw Paw District Library, located at 609 W. Michigan Ave., Paw Paw, MI.
    Additional details about the award and The Friends of the St. Joe River Association can be found on line at: fotsjr.org.

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