A Record Crowd Celebrates River Day

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The 14th Annual Auburn Hills Fishing Derby was held last Saturday on June 10th to celebrate River Day, and a record 114 young anglers were on hand for the occasion.  Warm weather, high waters and a river full of rainbow trout greeted over 160 attendees.

Derby participants tested their skills and patience in catching one of the 500 rainbow trout the City had released into the river.  Not every kid was fortunate enough to catch a fish (which must be why they call it “fishing” instead of “catching”) but all 114 kids walked away with a raffle prize thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters.

Hats off to our Premier Sponsor, Bass Pro Shop, who stepped up big by donating 200 slightly used rods and reels for the City to refurbish and assemble for the raffle.

If you missed the Derby, there is still plenty of time to fish in Riverside Park or River Woods Park, although now you might need a little more patience to land one of the 15” rainbow trout now that they aren’t confined to just a small section of the river.

For information on what action you can take to protect our water resources and our resident trout population, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.php or http://www.crwc.org/.

A special thank you to all of our Fishing Derby sponsors and supporters.

Paddlepalooza Sets A New Record For Attendance

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The combination of perfect weather and water levels drew 155 outdoor enthusiasts to participate in this year’s Paddlepalooza.  This river event is hosted by both Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills and allows paddlers from all around Southeast Michigan the opportunity to enjoy one of many recreational opportunities the river has to offer.

The festivities began in Riverside Park with both Auburn Hills Mayor, Kevin McDaniel and Rochester Hills Mayor, Bryan Barnett, thanking participants for their participation as well as touting the value of this great resource both communities take pride in protecting and enhancing for all to enjoy.

This year 28 men and ten women participated in the one-person kayak race, while 14 teams participated in the two-person canoe race.  The remaining 89 participants took a slower and steadier pace down the river to better enjoy the pristine views nature has to offer.

The event finished eight miles downstream in Rochester Hills, where participants had a chance to share stories while enjoying lunch on the patio of River Crest Banquet Facility.

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Men’s Division

  1. Richard Ensley – 1:15.25
  2. Vince Schnard – 1:18.04
  3. John Carricle – 1:18.08

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Women’s Division

  1. Gwenn Stevenson – 1:31.40
  2. Linda Gamage – 1:33.01
  3. Jean Dylong – 1:37.14

Winners of the Two Person Canoe Race

  1. David & Violet Fiddes – 1:34.18
  2. Jeffrey LeBlanc & Timothy Sosko – 1:42.00
  3. Kevin McDaniel & James Stevens – 1:44.06

As for the Mayors Cup Challenge, it was a three-peat for Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens (team Auburn Hills) who successfully defended the Cup, over Mayor Bryan Barnett and Jimmie Roach (team Rochester Hills).

Word has it, Rochester Hills, who always brings their A-game, was running strong and gaining ground before confronting a sideways canoe in their path.


Plan to join in the fun next year at the 10th Annual Paddlepalooza on June 2nd!

Tick Tock Tick

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s that time of year, bright sunshine and warm weather – perfect conditions to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.  However, it’s also time to protect against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.  The unseasonably warm winter we experienced here in the great State of Michigan is expected to result in an increase in the tick population. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 221 reported human cases of Lyme Disease last year and several cases have already been reported this year.

While people know that ticks are found outdoors, they may forget that includes parks, golf courses, and backyards.  The Oakland County Health Division encourages people to take extra precaution in areas most likely to be infested, such as wooded or grassy areas, especially where deer and wildlife are present.  This is the best way to avoid potential infection.

Protect yourself before you venture outdoors by taking some of these steps:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, light-colored pants and closed-toed shoes
  • Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (20% – 30%) or Picaridin to exposed skin and to clothing
  • Apply permethrin to clothes and shoes but not directly to skin

After enjoying the outdoors in areas were ticks may be present, immediately check your entire body for ticks and take a hot shower as soon as possible. Parents may want to help their children check their bodies for ticks. Let’s not forget about dogs and cats because ticks can also enter your home on pets. Check pets often.

If you discover a tick attached to your skin, remove it quickly.   According to the Center if Disease Control, if it is removed within 24 hours you greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.

  • Grasp the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible
  • Pull gently but firmly, but do not squeeze the body of the tick
  • Try to pull the tick out without leaving mouth parts embedded in the skin
  • After removing the tick, wash hands and bite area thoroughly with soap and running water
  • Apply an antibacterial cream to the site of the bite

You may get a small bump or redness that goes away in 1-2 days, like a mosquito bite.  This is not a sign that you have Lyme disease.

Improtant Note:  Do not remove ticks by putting hot matches, nail polish, or petroleum jelly on the tick to try to make it pull away from your skin.  Be sure to see a doctor about your tick bite if you develop a fever, a rash, sever fatigue, facial paralysis or joint pain within 30 days of being bitten by a tick.  It is important to get treatment right away if you develop symptoms.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.oakgov.com/health.

Auburn Hills Students Help Monitor Clinton River Health

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

On May 22nd, students from Avondale High School headed out to Riverside Park to determine the overall water quality and health of the Clinton River.  Led by their teachers, parents, mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the City of Auburn Hills, the students conducted water quality tests and scientific surveys.

The Avondale students have been monitoring the health of the river for more than a decade through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s “Stream Leaders” program.  In addition to conducting chemical tests on the water, students donned waders and entered the flowing river to collect, identify and count macroinvertebrates.  Some of the creatures found included dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, scuds, and crayfish.

The City looks forward to seeing the final results of the data collected by these dedicated students.  We will be sure to share those findings when the data becomes available.

Click here for more information on how you can protect water quality.  To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s “Stream Leaders” program, please click here.

Water Festival Fun

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

On Friday, our staff attended one of my absolute favorite events at Oakland University – The 11th Annual Clinton River Water Festival.  Partners including, Waste Management, the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, and the Clinton River Watershed Council come together to provide a full-day of activities for students.

The Festival is an educational and enjoyable learning experience for over 1,200 fifth-grade students from the Clinton River Watershed community schools in Oakland County.  As the conversations continue to revolve around sustainability and conservation, it’s important to recognize and get involved in programs like this.  Our very own Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner, was instrumental is starting this event at OU back in 2007— that’s something we are very proud of as a city.

The festival design allows students to learn about the central role water and the Clinton River play within the region. Some of the topics explored during the festival include storm water, waste water treatment, soil erosion, wetlands, creeks and streams, habitat, as well as sources of pollution.

The theme of the day is Celebrating water!

Remember…It’s Not Just Toxic To You

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Did you know that many household products are dangerous to our kids, pets, and the environment?  These materials pollute our waterways if washed or dumped into storm drains or roadside ditches that lead directly to our lakes and rivers.  Household cleaners, pesticides, gasoline, antifreeze, used motor oil and other hazardous products need to be labeled, stored, and disposed of properly.

So what can you do to help?  Simple.  Here are some steps you can take to carefully dispose of household wastes and help keep our water clean.

Identify it.  Be aware of household products that can harm children, pets, and the environment.  The words “danger,” “caution,” “warning,” or “toxic” indicate that you need to be careful in how you use and dispose of the product.

Less is better.  Reduce waste and save money by purchasing only the materials you need.  When possible, choose less toxic alternatives.  For example, try cleaning your windows with vinegar and water.

Store properly.  Keep unused products in their original containers with labels intact.  Select cool, dry storage areas that are away from children, pets, and wildlife.

Disposal is key.  Never dump cleaners, chemicals, motor oil, and other toxic materials down storm drains, roadside ditches, sinks, or on the ground.  Contact your local community for household hazardous waste disposal locations, guidelines, and dates.

City of Auburn Hills – Department of Public Works – 1500 Brown Road

Residents of Auburn Hills can participate in the 2017 Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Electronic Recycling Day scheduled for Saturday, May 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The drop-off location is at the Department of Public Works Facility located at 1500 Brown Road.

Visit the SEMCOG website for more information on protecting our lakes and rivers.  To report pollution, call the City of Auburn Hills, Community Development Department at 248-364-6900.

Clean Up Event Provides Immediate Gratification

Posted by – Elizabeth Brennan, Community Development Executive Assistant

The Auburn Hills Beautification Advisory Commission (BAC) held their first clean up event of 2017 this past Saturday morning.   A small group of volunteers, which included two elementary school students, gathered at Will Rogers Elementary School to clean the natural wooded areas and open spaces surrounding the building.

From left to right – Connor Grosz (student), Carla Withers, Mattie Lopez (student), Rich Foster; City Councilman Bob Kittle, me and Jan Kittle (our photographer) post clean up.  A big thank you to all and especially Councilman Kittle for helping out on his birthday!

The group collected seven large bags of trash from the woods, along with an old, rusted, antique mattress frame and a wheel/rotor assembly.

Often the eye passes right over what we don’t want to see.  Discarded cups, bottles, wrappers and such can become a part of the landscape and erode an otherwise pleasing scene.   Litter, when left unchecked, can lead to feelings of unrest, discomfort and sometimes even fear.  The disorganized appearance can lead to lower property values and even disinvestment.

That is why beautiful cities, like Auburn Hills, remain vigilant in clean-up efforts.  The solution to litter is quite simple and takes a minimal amount of time – especially when friends, relatives and neighbors come together.   One of my favorite things about these events is the immediate gratification – knowing that you’ve made a difference and are leaving something in better shape than you found it.

If you see an area in our fine City that needs attention, contact the City to help get the ball rolling.  If you would like to coordinate your own cleanup event, our Keep It Clean program can provide the needed supplies and safety equipment to help ensure a safe and productive day.

Contact the Auburn Hills Beautification Commission at beautification@auburnhills.org or 248.364.6946 for more information.  Help keep Auburn Hills a beautiful place to live, work and play.