April and May Meetings

April 8th:

Heather Hettinger, Fisheries Management Biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, will talk to us regarding the most recent survey of the Boyne River by the DNR, which was done in 2012, including the reasons the DNR does such surveys, what the data from the surveys can tell us about Michigan rivers, and the history of DNR management of the the Boyne River.  So if you have any questions related to the DNR’s survey or management of the Boyne River, here is your chance to ask the expert.

May 13th:

Dr. Elizabeth Del Bueno from the Northern Michigan Branch of the Citizens Climate Lobby in Traverse City will speak to us about climate change and and creating a free market shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources through a revenue-neutral fee on carbon-based fuels.

New Boyne River Nature Area Open!

Thank you Nancy Cunningham!!

Thank you Nancy Cunningham!!

On November 10, 2015, the new Nature Area was formally opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Constructed by the FoBR to share the beauty of the Boyne River and surrounding woods, and to provide an access to the river and educate the public about the environmental importance of wetlands to our rivers, the Nature Area is only possible because of the financial support from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Oleson Foundation, the Great Lakes Energy People Fund, the City of Boyne City and an anonymous private donor.


It's official! The Boyne River Nature Area is open!

It’s official! The Boyne River Nature Area is open!

Located at the back of Boyne City’s Air Industrial Park on M-75, trail signs, a small parking area and a bike rack welcome visitors.  Adjacent to the parking lot is a rain garden filled with native plants and a roofed education pavilion with picnic tables.  A path leads down a ravine from the parking area and into the heavily wooded wetland area which lies between the river and several steep hills along the south bank of the river.  The pathway continues northwesterly along the base of the hills and at three places along the pathway there are stairs down to boardwalks that cross the wetlands and end at docks where visitors can fish or just enjoy the river view.

Boyne River Nature Area (courtesy of Gary Osterbeck).

Boyne River Nature Area (courtesy of Gary Osterbeck).









To get to the Boyne River Nature Area, enter the East entrance of the Air Industrial Park on M-75 at Moll Drive.  Follow Moll Drive about one block, where it ends at Lexamar Drive.  Turn right on Lexamar Drive and the Boyne River Nature Area sign will be on your left a few yards down the road.

Nancy Cunningham – Volunteer of the Year

Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography

Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography

Nancy Cunningham, Friends of the Boyne River, Board of Directors, was presented with the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Volunteer of the Year Award!  A crowd of 325 people attended the Chamber’s annual meeting at Boyne Mountain on January 22, 2015.

Executive Director Jim Baumann, Chamber of Commerce, noted that Nancy’s “patient determination over several years on behalf of the Friends of the Boyne River has given us the new Boyne River Nature Area, which can be accessed from Lexamar Drive in the Boyne City Industrial Park. Nancy found grant funds to construct a beautiful hiking trail, complete with boardwalks and an erosion-prevention rain garden.”


Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography

Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography






Nancy thanked the Chamber for the award and recognized the many volunteers and funding sources involved in the Nature Area project that opened this past fall.

FoBR President Adam Kennedy said, “We are proud of Nancy and her drive to get the Nature Area built. It’s a beautiful addition to the Boyne community and we encourage everyone to visit.”

Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography

Photo courtesy of Erika Blackwell, Center of Attention Photography


Boyne River Photo Project

Gary Osterbeck has undertaken the daunting task of creating photographic slide shows, compete with music, of the entire Boyne River.  The project will be in four phases: the North Branch, Moyer Creek (a tributary to the South Branch), the South Branch and the Boyne River at large.  The North Branch and the Moyer Creek phases of the project have been completed and are posted on YouTube where they can be viewed by clinking on these two links: for the North Branch –, and for Moyer Creek –  The slide shows beautifully depict and describe various sections of the North Branch and Moyer Creek and indicate which sections of the river and its tributaries are located in the various nature preserves administered by  the Little Traverse Conservancy (and, therefore, accessible by the public).  Also, check out this video Gary took of the Cafelli Falls on the North Branch:

And this video of Moyer Falls on the South Branch (south of Boyne Mountain on the east side of US 131):

Our sincere thanks to Gary for giving everyone the chance to experience our beautiful Boyne River from any place, at any time, and we are looking forward to his completion of the South Branch phase of the project which should be done in the near future.

FoBR Scholarship Awarded

Every year the Scholarship Committee of the Friends of the Boyne River picks a deserving student who is going to make a career in an environmental field to receive the Marie Zoberski Friends of the Boyne River Scholarship.  The money we use for this comes from Marie who donated the funds to the FoBR when she died.  In the past we have supported students who were going to be conservation officers, water quality specialists, civil engineers and in other environmental fields.  So far, they are all employed in an environmentally related field and are doing well.

This year the Scholarship Committee (Marie Sheets, Mark Contrucci and Nancy Cunningham, chair) picked Margaret Durbin.  Margaret graduated from Boyne City High School and is now in her second year in the Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University, where she is studying Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Bioenergy.   She hopes to use her education to improve the environment.  In the meantime, as part of one of classes, she been taking water samples from the Red Cedar for testing.

FoBR Quick River Updates

  • Boyne River Has CrowdHydrology Monitoring!  Check out the new “CrowdHydrology” page under “The River” tab above and become a Boyne River scientist!
  • Purple Loostrife is Back on the River!  If you happened to look last fall, there were a lot of the dreaded invasive Purple Loosestrife on the river around the millpond – especially on the side close to Riverside Park where the water is shallow.  Obviously, the beetles that Nancy Cunningham released six years ago have died out.  That happens when the beetles eat all the loosestrife (which is good for us), but bad for the beetles, since they  have no food left.  When Nancy recently got an email from the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council saying they were going to order some of the loosestrife eating beetles and wanted to know if the Friends needed any, she said,”Yes!” (This was a much easier way of getting them than wading around in Spring Lake trying to catch beetles while standing in hip deep water and struggling to get though the muck!)  After getting approval from the City, Nancy picked up the beetles from the Watershed Council, kept them dormant in her refrigerator and then, with the help of Marie Sheets and Mark Contrucci, released them in Riverside Park.  Go Beetles!
  • Watch Out For Meth Lab Waste!  The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has put out an alert regarding meth lab waste which is now being found along rivers in northern Michigan.  Such waste is highly toxic and very dangerous to people who encounter it.  To read the flyer, click on the “The River” tab above and scroll down to the “Meth Lab Waste” heading.
  • Put Your Pills in the Pod!  The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has embarked upon a media and education campaign to raise awareness about the Northern Michigan Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Drop-off (POD) Program.  The POD program is an environmentally sound way for residents to properly dispose of medications.  By participating in the program you will help keep our lakes, rivers and drinking water clean and our communities and families safe.  Click here for a flyer with collection dates and locations, including one in Boyne City this fall.
  • The Boyne River Sparkles!  As a result of the 2014 Northern Michigan River Sweep, the Boyne River, under the leadership of Michael Ryan with his FoBR volunteers, is much cleaner.  (See the summary of the event under the “Activities” tab above.)  For those who missed the opportunity to participate we will keep you updated as dates and times are set for next year’s event.

Next Directors Meeting

The March Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Boyne District Library.  The public is welcome.


This website is dedicated to the communities that reside within the Boyne River watershed and to the many visitors that come here for recreation. We hope that everyone will find it to be informative and educational. It will help us to understand how the natural environment enriches the quality of life for everyone that passes this way.  Each one of us plays a role in the conservation of these values.
Please visit the site often.

We will be adding new material and up-dating on a regular basis.