Page 87 - Visitors Guide 18
P. 87

Shrinking shoreline stopped
You can’t drive — or walk — to the biggest Lakeshore project this year.
But you might be able
to gauge progress with a telescope. A powerful one, that is.
A stabilization project along the shoreline in front of iconic South Manitou Island should be underway in early summer by the time the LVG is published. The hope is to  nish the project before visitation starts to hit its summer peak.
“The big project is on South Manitou,” explained Lakeshore deputy superintendent Tom Ulrich, who provided an overview for visitors of what to expect at the national park this summer. “It was two years ago that we went there in the spring and saw there had been a big washout of the boardwalk that went between the lighthouse and the village.”
Consequently visitors have had dif culty accessing the lighthouse, which provides heart-thumping views of the island, Lake Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes.
That heart thumping might have something to do with the 117 steps needed to reach the perch. It was the third lighthouse built on the island, and completed in 1872. A replica
of the light’s original third-order Fresnel lens was installed in
the lantern by the National
Park Service. The light was reactivated in May 2009 and is lit from May to November.
But all that history was in danger of being claimed by
Lake Michigan, necessitating the project.
“The area that washed out is the natural bank. but a portion that’s armored in front of the lighthouse started to fail,” Ulrich said.
The project will entail anchoring a barge along the bank. “Since the work is being done from the water, it probably won’t impeded visitation to the lighthouse,” Ulrich accced.
Funds for the $1.6 million project will be paid from visitor revenues collected at the Lakeshore.
Enforcing the shoreline is actually the  rst of two projects for the lighthouse complex, which includes out buildings. Next up will be renovation of the keepers quarters, fog signal building and other structures.
“We’re going to equip those so that people can actually get in them, and that probably won’t happen until 2019. But we’ll start that project in the fall of 2018,” Ulrich said.
Also coming up: interpretative
panels explaining the lighthouse history, which dates to 1839.
But regardless of work
underway, visitors will be able to table the lighthouse itself through a secondary path.
Lakeshore a star in new promo production
What else is new for visitors this season? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore deputy superintendent Tom Ulrich provided a quick tour of upcoming projects and points of interest:
• You could be on camera, right along with the Lakeshore. The National Park Service has contracted with a production company to create a  lm of the park that will be shown
at the Visitors Center and available for broadcast.
“The  lm will be a big, ongoing project,” Ulrich said. “Literally millions of people will see that  lm, at least if it lasts as long as our old slide  lm. Seeing the  lm often starts a visit ... it’s a pretty big deal for us.”
A call for “extras” went out in January for winter  lming. One respondent was Mike Shimek, manager of the Leelanau Pages Business and Community Directory that’s published by the same company that creates the Leelanau Visitors Guide.
Shimek, an avid  sherman, reports just one mishap while on Narada Lake when a
camera got dropped through the ice. So  shers, be on the look out.
• On a related note, the Lakeshore will have its own cell phone mobile app.
“I’m not a huge device guy, but eople hwo are will love it. So if you are going around the park, you’ll have a detailed park guide tied to GPS. You can ask, ‘Hey, what am I looking at?’ If you call it up, the app tells you,” Ulrich said.
• Say hello to Julie Christian when you see her. A plant biologist, she was hired as
the new Chief of Natural Resources for the park.
Ulrich said she provides a rare combination with good “people skills” and attention to detail.
• Work should be underway for a new trail in the area known as the “kettles” near the intersection of Fritz and Baatz roads.
“People can go out there now. We’re pretty much following a two-track. But we’llmake improvements
and get people a place to park. Now they just pull off the shoulder,” Ulrich said.
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