Here’s a roundup of recent news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula …
OMP Dirt roads is renewed. You may notice that the dirt roads around the OMP are not as dusty as usual. That’s because the Grand Traverse County Road Commission has been out spraying them and doing some leveling at the same time. Saw this truck at the north end of Peninsula Drive as I was going out to hike the north end. Along the way, I also spotted trucks on Brinkman Road and Murray Road. They even came from the Murray Road trail turning point while Barb Wunsch and I were standing there.
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Peninsula Township Firefighters. You may see them hanging around in the community (hopefully when you’re not in a life-or-death situation), but do you know the names of Peninsula Township’s fire department personnel? Now you do, thanks to these great photos. I am personally grateful for the photos so I don’t have to text Chief Gilstorff for names all the time. If you click on the image and then click it again, it should display it so you can more easily read their names.
PDR Millage Steps. The millage for the purchase of development rights was due to be renewed in the ballot on August 2, and Peninsula Township voters have decided that they will once again pay farmers not to develop their farmland and open spaces. The vote was 2068 yes and 937 no.
Artists on the OMP. A reception was recently held for several OMP artists at the Tinker Studio on Seven Hills Road. If you haven’t checked out Tinker Studio yet, they are located at 13795 Seven Hills Road and have recently moved into the building at the back of the lot, as renovations are underway for the other buildings opposite.
Gorman’s granary gets a flag. Whenever I drive north on Peninsula Drive, I wonder what new cool thing the Gormans are going to do with their barn. Right now, there is a beautiful American flag hanging on the front. Thanks, Gorman.
This is a cherry wrap. I’ve been taking pictures of the farm since spring, but have I posted them? No I do not have. But that’s how it’s going this year. As soon as I manage to put them together, I’ll do a summary of the photos of the farm. Meanwhile, most OMP farmers have finished their cherry season and are looking forward to apples. Here’s a picture of some sour cherries on the Johnson Farms cooling pad (and here’s how the pad works, in case you missed it a few years ago).
lavender in abundance. There is still some lavender here and there on the OMP, but it is being harvested right now. Here is the Brys Estate lavender field on the corner of Center Road and Blue Water Road. You can find their lavender products at their Secret Garden gift shop, part of Brys Estate on Blue Water Road.
Cat Yoga. I have been doing yoga with Sally Van Vleck at the Neahtawanta Inn for about 20 years and we do yoga outdoors in the summer. This is a great opportunity for Sally’s cat Marco to come and do yoga with us. Here he is jumping ahead to the relaxation part of the class while Sally does the pigeon pose. Namaste, Marco.
News of the cause in the company. Judge Paul Maloney, who presided over the pending lawsuit filed by the Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) wineries against Peninsula Township, brought the trial to an unspecified date. The trial was previously set to begin this week. At the Peninsula Township Board meeting last week, it was noted that this gives the Township more time to rework the order on Judge Maloney’s specifications noted in the opinion published in June. This also gives Protect the Peninsula time to work on the case, as they have recently been granted the right to intervene.
Jim Olson gets a plaque. Jim Olson is not only the founder of FLOW (For Love of Water), but also a pioneering environmental advocate who has employed public trust doctrine and statutes to defend public waters and other crucial natural resources for the past 50 years. To commemorate his work, Jim’s colleagues, friends and family celebrated the dedication of a marker to Jim’s honor at Mission Point Lighthouse (and it was a surprise for him!).
“There is no person more deserving of this honor than Jim,” said Elizabeth Rosan Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW. “And nowhere is more suitable than Old Mission Point since, like the old lighthouse keepers, Jim has been keeping an eye on the Great Lakes for decades.”
Special thanks go to Becky and Glen Chown for making it possible to install the license plate. The plaque, bearing the image of a lighthouse and an intense blue background, reads:
James M. Olson
Guardian of the Great Lakes
Just as lighthouse keepers once watched over these waters, Jim Olson began watching over the Great Lakes in the early 1970s. As an attorney, advocate, and author, Jim pioneered the use of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act and the Public Trust Doctrine to protect the state’s coastline and water resources for public use and enjoyment. Your public water rights – to drink, fish, swim, boating and coastal walks – are underpinned by Jim’s enduring legacy. Dedicated July 2022