Traverse City DDA Asks Public for Ideas about Future of Lower Boardman River

Traverse City is fixing up one of its treasures.

The Downtown Development Authority wants to enhance the lower Boardman river.

A 1.6 mile stretch of river runs through downtown Traverse City and now city officials are putting together a game plan to preserve, protect and restore the waterway.

The DDA hosted a public kick off Wednesday night to help them craft a plan for the river.

The plan has a few goals, to identify ways to improve accessibility to the river, create new pathways and connections to the river through town, enhance the prominence of the river in town and manage storm water runoff and vegetation around it.

Wednesday, they asked locals for their ideas on how to make it better. They’re putting together a master plan.

“Portions of that river are very natural and portions of the river like you see behind me are kind of a channel and are lined with parking lots so are there opportunities to kind of change the way we interact with the river,” said Harry Burkholder, a member of the Lower Boardman Leadership Committee.

Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers would like to see the river take center stage in town and look natural.

“It’s a gem that we’ve been ignoring. It’s the backdoor of our front door,” said Carruthers. “I’d like to see a totally re-sculpted downtown river area I think we could blend natural features in with hardscape that provides access through recreation.”

The Lower Boardman Leadership Team will take comments from the session and use them to create a unified plan for the river.

There is no deadline for this project yet because the DDA wants to spend as much time as it takes to help make this river and the areas around it better.

If you have comments, suggestions or ideas about the future of the lower Boardman, email the lower Boardman leadership committee. Their addresses are listed here.