Here’s a roundup of recent news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula…
OMP Dirt Roads Get a Makeover. You might notice that the dirt roads around the OMP aren’t quite as dusty as usual. That’s because the Grand Traverse County Road Commission has been out spraying them down and doing a little grading at the same time. I saw this truck on the north end of Peninsula Drive on my way out to hike at the north end. Along the way, I also spotted trucks on Brinkman Road and Murray Road. They even came through the Murray Road trailhead turn-around while Barb Wunsch and I were standing there.
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Peninsula Township Fire Department Staff. You might see them out and about in the community (hopefully when you’re not in a life-and-death situation), but do you know the names of the Peninsula Township Fire Department staff? Now you do, thanks to these great photos. I’m personally grateful for the pics so that I don’t have to text Chief Gilstorff for names all the time. If you click on the picture and then click on it again, it should bring it up so you can read their names easier.
PDR Millage Passes. The Purchase of Development Rights millage was up for renewal on the August 2 ballot, and voters of Peninsula Township have decided that they will once again pay farmers to not develop their farmland and open space. The vote was 2068 yes and 937 no.
Artists on the OMP. A reception for several OMP artists was held recently at Tinker Studio on Seven Hills Road. If you haven’t checked out Tinker Studio yet, they’re located at 13795 Seven Hills Road, and they recently moved to the building at the back of the lot, as renovations are underway for the other buildings in front.
The Gorman’s Barn Gets a Flag. Every time I drive north on Peninsula Drive, I wonder what cool new thing the Gormans will do with their barn. Right now, there’s a beautiful American flag strung across the front. Thank you, Gormans.
That’s a Wrap for Cherries. I’ve been taking farm pics since spring, but have I gotten them posted? No, I have not. But that’s how this year is going. I will do a round-up of farm pics as soon as I can get it together. In the meantime, most OMP farmers have wrapped up cherry season and are looking ahead to apples. Here’s a picture of some tart cherries on the Johnson Farms cooling pad (and here’s how the pad works, in case you missed it a few years back).
Lavender Galore. There’s still some lavender here and there on the OMP, but it’s getting picked right about now. Here is the Brys Estate’s 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.
Yoga Cat. I’ve been doing yoga with Sally Van Vleck at the Neahtawanta Inn for about 20 years, and in the summer, we do outdoor yoga. That’s a great opportunity for Sally’s cat, Marco, to come do yoga with us. Here he is jumping ahead to the relaxation part of the class while Sally does the pigeon pose. Namaste, Marco.
Winery Lawsuit News. Judge Paul Maloney, who has been presiding over the ongoing lawsuit brought by the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) against Peninsula Township, has moved the trial ahead to an unspecific date. The trial was previously set to begin this week. At the Peninsula Township Board meeting this past week, it was noted that this gives the Township additional time to re-work the Ordinance to Judge Maloney’s specifications noted in the Opinion he released in June. This also gives Protect the Peninsula time to work on the case, as they were recently 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 lawyer who has employed the 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 honoring Jim at the Mission Point Lighthouse (and it was a complete surprise to him!).
“There is no person more deserving of this honor than Jim,” said FLOW Executive Director Elizabeth Rosan Kirkwood. “And no location more fitting than Old Mission Point since, like the lighthouse keepers of old, Jim has kept watch on the Great Lakes for decades.”
Special thanks go to Becky and Glen Chown for making the installation of the plaque possible. The plaque, bearing the image of a lighthouse and a deep blue background, reads:
James M. Olson
Keeper of the Great Lakes
Just as lighthouse keepers once kept watch 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 guard the state’s shorelines and water resources for public use and enjoyment. Your public water rights — for drinking, fishing, swimming, boating, and shoreline walks—are upheld by Jim’s lasting legacy. Dedicated July 2022
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb