Ann Arbor Weather:
Sunday October 22, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
people look through binoculars at Argo Dam

River Hop

Neighborly fun

by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

From the July, 2017 issue

A celebration of the River District, River Hop is more than your usual community festival; it is a community conversation. Neighbors come out of their houses, chatting on front lawns over garage sale treasures, trading gardening and house remodeling tips, sharing the latest news in local politics and schools, enjoying an evening potluck picnic together in the park, all while a local band plays on.

Barbara Lucas, one of the event organizers, explained that the community is trying to encourage the use of "River District" to describe the area around Ann Arbor STEAM (formerly Northside Elementary School). Think Pontiac Tr. up to Barton Dr., the Argo area, and everything over to the Huron River as it curves through town.

"We are close to downtown and central and north campuses," Lucas explains. "You can walk or bike anywhere from here."

By bicycle is certainly the way one should explore the many events of River Hop. Last year there was a bike tour of the cultural and natural history of the River District and a wheelchair-accessible walking tour of the history and architecture of Lower Town. The county's Border-to-Border Trail runs along the river under the Broadway Bridge, connecting to Maiden Ln. and U-M Hospital without having to cross Plymouth Rd.

At the "Cool and Green Bike Ideas" session, bicyclists on every kind of bicycle from recumbent to electric to fixed-gear shared tips and tricks. The nonprofit organization Common Cycle brought an entire bicycle repair station on a cargo carrier pulled by bicycle. Standing in the shade of a young tree on the edge of Northside Park, it felt surreal listening to Common Cycle board member Steven Kronenberg describe how easily he commutes through the winter by wearing a balaclava--plus a ski helmet and ski goggles to keep his eyeballs from freezing.

"Walk of the Wildflowers," "Native Grasses of the Cascade," and a morning bird hike explored the native species in the area. There were arts, gardening, and skills classes, from paddleboard and kayak lessons to pottery, sculpture, beekeeping, natural landscaping, and designing the ecology of your yard or permaculture gardening. A community "visioning session" imagined the potential of this part of town.

This year's River Hop, July 28-30, will include nature hikes, history tours, and a kid-centric bike ride around Argo Pond (see Events listing for full details).    (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2017.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

A Family Story In The Digitized Michigan Daily, by Tim Athan
Body, Mind, & Spirit
Congestion Prescription
Dexter to add roundabouts
Sally Mitani
Sports, Dancing, Nature, & Recreation
Health Care - Mental Illness
Crime Map
A clickable, zoomable map
Nightspots: Crossroads Bar & Grill
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
Pipeline Protest
As a giant gas line inches closer to its day camp, the Ann Arbor Y goes into activist mode.
Julie Halpert
Don Kwon is Now Kosmo
And he's hoping to make it big with bibimbap.
Sabine Bickford
John Shultz photography and Portrait Studio in Ann Arbor since 1982