mission point lighthouse, old mission peninsula, log cabin day, hessler log home, dougherty house, nancy heller, teri johnson, vicki shurly, brendan keenan
Cal Jamieson in the Hessler Log Home; Log Cabin Day 2017 | Jane Boursaw Photo

Here’s a roundup of recent OMP news and photos…

Bluff Road Closure Update. At their meeting on Wednesday, March 2, the Grand Traverse County Road Commission discussed the Bluff Road closure and possible solutions based on a report from GEI Consultants of Michigan, the engineering firm contracted to study the logistics and costs for stabilizing or relocating Bluff Road. Last summer, GEI recommended leaving the road closed.

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At the March 2 meeting, several options were discussed, including re-routing the road to 1) Center Road; 2) Smokey Hollow Road; or 3) Bluff Road. None of these routes were deemed feasible, as the new roads would go across farm conservation easements, private property, etc. Other options included creating cul de sacs at the end of each closure and building a footpath between the two; stabilizing and fixing the road; and doing nothing.

As Township Supervisor Rob Manigold said at the Town Board meeting this week, “The only answer is to fix the road and that’s what we’re pursuing,” adding that they will see if state or federal funds are available. For more details and costs from the Road Commission, click here.

Erosion Issues Force Closure of Bluff Road on the Old Mission Peninsula
Erosion Issues Force Closure of Bluff Road on the Old Mission Peninsula; Intersection of Bluff Road and Blue Water Road | Jane Boursaw Photo

Parks Committee Survey. There’s still time to fill out your suggestions for the OMP Parks projects, but only until midnight on Tuesday, March 15. This is an important survey because you can help direct the Peninsula Township Parks Committee on upcoming improvements to our parks.

Some 40+ projects are identified in the survey, including a dog park at Bowers Harbor Park, new boat launch at Kelley Park, signage and expansion of several OMP parks, and improvements to many historical sites, such as Mission Point Lighthouse, the Dougherty House and the Hessler Log Cabin.

Check out the projects (or download them here) and take the survey at the Participate Old Mission website here.

Kelley Park on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Kelley Park on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo

Happy Birthday, Lani! Everyone’s favorite Reading Dog, Lani, celebrated a birthday this week, and the team at Old Mission Peninsula School posted a sweet photo and birthday wishes on their Facebook page.

“Thank you so very, very much for all the cards and birthday wishes. Ms. Candy is still reading the cards to me and showing me all the pictures. Thank you! I LOVE being your reading dog and look forward to being at OMPS every week. Remember the best thing you can do for me is to keep reading! Go Panthers! You guys are the BEST! – Love, Lani”

Watch for an upcoming story from Barb Wunsch about Lani and the Reading Dog program here on the Gazette.

Lani, the Reading Dog | OMPS Photo
Lani, the Reading Dog | OMPS Photo

Send a Note to Cal. Lifelong OMP resident Cal Jamieson has moved from his home on the Peninsula to Orchard Creek Assisted Living. It’s a big change for Cal and his family, and I know he would love any notes of encouragement that are sent his way. Cal’s address is:

Cal Jamieson
Orchard Creek Assisted Living
9715 Cherry Bend Rd., #5
Traverse City, MI 49684

Here’s a picture of Cal volunteering at Log Cabin Day in 2017.

mission point lighthouse, old mission peninsula, log cabin day, hessler log home, dougherty house, nancy heller, teri johnson, vicki shurly, brendan keenan
Cal Jamieson in the Hessler Log Home; Log Cabin Day 2017 | Jane Boursaw Photo

PDR Public Hearing Upcoming. The Peninsula Township Board and Planning Commission will hold a joint meeting on March 14, 7 p.m. at the Township Hall. The meeting will include a public hearing on the Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Ordinance #23, Amendment #3.

No action will be taken at the meeting, and the Township Board will likely vote on it (maybe) at their April 12 meeting. The March 14 meeting is a good opportunity to learn more about the PDR program and how it benefits both farmers and residents of the OMP. The PDR Committee has been hard at work updating and revising the ordinance. Here’s a summary of the revisions.

Also, watch for an upcoming story here on the Gazette about the PDR program, which will likely be included on the State Primary ballot on August 2. My family has a long history with the program, as my dad, Walter Johnson, was the first farmer to commit to putting land in the program when the Township first approved it in 1994.

Here’s the backside of our “home barn” on Center Road, north of Mapleton.

Johnson Farms Barn on Center Road (from the Umlor Farm) | Jane Boursaw Photo
Johnson Farms Barn on Center Road (from the Umlor Farm) | Jane Boursaw Photo

Tester Horse Farm for Sale. I don’t usually post real estate listings here on the Gazette, unless they’re through my longtime advertiser Ted Schweitzer (he was my first advertiser!). But this one caught my eye. Becky Tester’s horse farm on Tompkins Road is for sale. I’ve taken lots of photos of her beautiful dogs over the years (here’s one), along with the many horses who live there.

According to this listing on Real Estate One, the 80-acre fully working farm is listed for $7.5 million and includes 100′ of private water frontage on West Grand Traverse Bay, an operating equestrian facility, a turn of the century farm house, and multiple outbuildings. And it even comes with six registered Rocky Mountain horses and eight purebred Great Pyrenees guard dogs. Yes, the dogs come with it!

I’m not sure who the listing agent is, but if you’re interested, I would check with Ted Schweitzer, (231) 645-5656, and he can give you more details.

Here’s a picture I took last fall – you can see the farm off on the right on Tompkins Road – and below that is a picture I took of the dogs one winter.

Tompkins Road with the Tester's Horse Farm on the right; Fall colors on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Tompkins Road with the Tester’s Horse Farm on the right; Fall colors on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Tompkins Road Dogs | Jane Boursaw Photo

Help a Sister (and Her Robotics Team) Out. My sister-in-law, Carol Johnson (my brother Ward’s wife) has been a robotics mentor/coach/head advisor for more than eight years, starting with an all-girls FIRST Robotics Lego team. With the guidance of mentor Philip Leete, who at the time was a STEM teacher and VEX robotics coach at West High School, Carol switched from FIRST robotics to VEX robotics and today, she is the mentor/coach/head advisor for four middle school VEX VRC teams, two middle school VEX IQ teams, and two high school VEX VRC teams.

Carol Johnson, Robotics Instructor
Carol Johnson, Robotics Instructor (and Jane’s sis-in-law)

And her teams are doing great! During this school year, four of Carol’s VEX robotics teams won at local events and qualified to compete at the State Championship. Now, one of her VEX IQ middle school teams – the “Robo Saints” of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School – has qualified to compete one more time at the VEX Robotics World Championship!

However, the World Championship is being held in Dallas, Texas, May 8 – 12, and they need our help to raise funds for the trip. On March 19, 12 p.m., at Bayshore Resort, 883 E. Front Street in Traverse City, Carol’s team and other area robotics teams will dash from the beach into the bay to raise awareness of competitive robotics and also raise funds for their team expenses.

They are hoping to raise $45,000 in total ($5000 for each team). The event is free to attend, but they are accepting donations both at the event and on their website, winterwaterdash.com. For more info, call (231) 999-BOTS (2687).

Including a picture of my sweet sis-in-law, and below, a picture of her pup, Sam, when we walked through the Bill Carls Pyatt Lake Nature Preserve last fall. Just because.

Sam Johnson, Jane's nephew-pup at the Pyatt Lake: Bill Carls Nature Preserve overlook | Jane Boursaw Photo
Sam Johnson, Jane’s nephew-pup at the Pyatt Lake: Bill Carls Nature Preserve overlook | Jane Boursaw Photo

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