Save Lake Allegan!

In case you hadn't heard, there are some big changes coming to the small West Michigan community of Allegan. Residents are riled up over the new roundabout at M-89/M-40, the upcoming changes to the downtown Kalamazoo River boardwalk, and now Lake Allegan is in danger too.

As a current resident of Allegan I'd be more than happy to share my own personal views on all these changes with you, but one of the causes that's very near and dear to me is the threat of losing the lake.

Lauren G/TSM
Sunset on Lake Allegan - Lauren G/TSM

What's Going On?

In August 2022 Consumers Energy announced plans to retire several of their hyrdo-electric dams in the area. Of these dams, Calkins Dam in Allegan is on that list. Of the situation Bridge Michigan explains,

The dams are environmentally and financially costly, and deliver little energy. But their reservoirs are beloved for recreation

It seems we are at an impasse: Consumers wants to terminate their contract and demolish the dam, while lakeside residents are imploring them to keep it intact so they can continue enjoying the lake and everything that goes along with it.

It's also important to note that Lake Allegan is man-made; the whole reason it even exists in the first place is because of the dam!

So many families-- including mine-- have spent generations making memories at the lake and losing it would be detrimental to not only property value, but also the revenue created from recreation and Allegan residents' quality of life.

Ryan Hurd via YouTube
Hurd and Morris on Lake Allegan - Ryan Hurd via YouTube

An Evening With Ryan Hurd

Lake Allegan is also quite special for Kalamazoo native and Nashville recording artist Ryan Hurd, whose family owns a cabin on Lake Allegan. In fact that's where Hurd proposed to now-wife, fellow country recording artist Maren Morris, and also filmed the music video for his song "Love in a Bar",  which features her.

As this is a cause that is close to Hurd's heart, he and several other Michigan-native songwriters will perform a benefit concert for Lake Allegan on August 19, 2023 at the Griswold Auditorium. Event organizers, the Lake Allegan Association, say:

With over 330 million streams and six #1 songs on country radio as an artist and songwriter, Ryan Hurd brings his talents to Allegan, Michigan for a can’t-miss event...Monies raised...will help fund Lake Allegan Association's work to protect and preserve Lake Allegan, more specifically in areas including legal expenses, communications, consultants, operations and development.

Will Maren Morris Be There?

Maren will be in West Michigan prior to her husband's benefit concert. Tickets to her show at Frederik Meijer Gardens sold-out before they even went on sale to the general public. That concert takes place in Grand Rapids on Friday, August 18. However, Morris is scheduled to play at the Illinois State Fair on the night of the benefit show, Saturday August, 19. So, although she might be in the area it's safe to assume she will not be making an appearance at the Allegan concert.

Tickets for An Evening With Ryan Hurd go on sale Friday, May 19 at 10:00 a.m. and are extremely limited due to venue size. For more information on ticket and efforts to save Lake Allegan click here.

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