The word ‘run’ appears to be a Michigan dialect for small river. Perhaps Michigan’s most famous run is the Willow run, where the airport is. Currently, almost all of our runs are unrecognizable, they are either trapped in pipes underground, or so dredged out and poisoned that they are more properly called sewers. If I’m elected Oakland county water resources commissioner (drain commissioner) I’d like to free some of these runs, and detoxify them.
Consider this historical map of Royal Oak. It shows two river branches, currently under ground. Back in the day, these were known as the north and south branch of the Red run. The south branch is fed by the Washington creek and the small run, now under ground, with the main branch of the run crossing Woodward ave at Catalpa st. These runs only appear above ground in Warren, MI, miles away, as a polluted sewer. But in Royal Oak they should still be clean. If they were partially freed. That is if the channel were exposed to air again to provide small wetlands along the original path — along Vinsetta Blvd, for example. Vinsetta Blvd. already has concrete bridges to show where the run originally ran. The small wetlands would provide habitat for birds and butterflies, and would provide storm relief and some bioremediation as well. After a heavy rain, most of the water would be absorbed into the ground, while the existing pipes carry away the rest.
Robert E. Buxbaum, March 21, 2016