A couple weeks ago, Parks in Focus celebrated its sixth year of partnership with TrueNorth Community Services by hosting its annual West Michigan immersion trip (and the last Parks in Focus immersion trip of the summer) to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From August 22-27, eight youth from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Newaygo County (a TrueNorth program) spent six days engaging in fun, educational and active exploration along Lake Superior at the nation’s first National Lakeshore.
Even in its sixth year, our West Michigan program never fails to create new stories, provide new adventures and result in an amazing collection of new photographs. Highlights from our 2012 trip included:
- Exploring sites at the east end of Pictured Rocks for the first time including: Sable Falls, Grand Sable Dunes and the Logslide.
- Hiking along Lake Superior to the AuSable Light Station while learning about the cultural history of the Lakeshore.
- Learning about biodiversity through aquatic sampling and a BioBlitz activity at Seney National Wildlife Refuge.
- Watching two bald eagles soar over Miner’s Castle, one of the most popular sandstone formations, at Pictured Rocks.
- Taking a sunset cruise of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with Pictured Rocks Cruises.
- Paddling 7-miles down the gorgeous Au Train River.
- Visiting the Alger County Heritage Center to view a photo exhibit (displaying photos taken by previous Parks in Focus participants).
- Learning about exposure by taking pictures in the dark using our cameras, tripods and flashlights to paint with light.
So Many Thanks!
Parks in Focus would like to extend huge thanks to Gregg Bruff (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore), Jen McDonough (Seney National Wildlife Refuge) and Mimi Klotz (Clear Lake Education Center) for participating in our program activities and welcoming us to the Upper Peninsula. We would also like to recognize our team of amazing staff who led this year’s trip: Chad Burton and Corey Higley (Parks in Focus volunteers) as well as Lisa Schillaci and Caitlin Sjaarda (TrueNorth Community Services). Finally, we would also like to thank Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Outdoor Nation, Merrell, MSU College of Agriculture & Natural Resources Alumni Association, REI Michigan, and Pictured Rocks Cruises for their continued support of our Parks in Focus efforts in the Great Lakes State.