Grand River highlighted during Making Waves event

students and others in kayaks on Grand River
Students, faculty and staff members kayak on the Grand River as part of Big Splash Week.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
two women in kayak
Provost Maria Cimitile and President Philomena Mantella kayak on the Grand River.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
president shaking hand of student
President Philomena Mantella greets a student; Provost Maria Cimitile is in the background.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
people hiking
Hiking in the Grand Ravines.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
group of people in row with Louie the Laker
Louie the Laker and Peter Wampler, third from right, are pictured with students.
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts

It's a good day when you can kayak as part of your job or your class.

Making Waves' Big Splash Week continued September 17 with the Confluence at Grand Ravines North County Park, where nearly 200 students, faculty and staff members hiked trails and kayaked on the Grand River throughout the day.

The participants included President Philomena V. Mantella and Provost Maria C. Cimitile. The novice kayakers had no problem paddling upstream the planned route before returning to the launch site.

Mantella said the area is beautiful and serves as an incredible resource and respite for the campus community. The Grand Ravines is one of Ottawa County's newest parks, two miles from the Allendale Campus.

Organizers of Making Waves led guided tours of the Grand River and short hikes through the ravines. Devin Walker, a first-year student in the Meijer Honors College, said he enjoyed the experience.

"I've never been here before, but now that I know where it is, I'll come back," Walker said.

Walker and others from his class also plan to participate in the Beach Clean Up on Saturday, September 21, at Grand Haven State Park.

Big Splash Week continues Wednesday, September 18, with two events:

• Making Waves Mingle, a showcase of water-related careers and internship opportunities at the L. William Seidman Center from 2-5 p.m.

• Democracy 101: PFAS in Michigan, a panel discussion with state Sen. Winnie Brinks, state Rep. Rachel Hood and Rick Rediske, professor of water resources, from 6-8 p.m. in the Mary Idema Pew Library. This event is LIB 100/201 approved.

Learn more about other Big Splash Week events online at