Dam Comments, Green School Coordinators and State Park Projects

For Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

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1 – State parks throughout Michigan are sprucing up. 

Officials say a total of $250 million in federal funding is coming to the Department of Natural Resources to address critical needs. 

Hartwick Pines. Credit: Scott Smithson

The latest round of improvements totals almost $109 million and will go to more than 100 projects in state parks. 

Those include renovating a historic memorial building at Hartwick Pines in Crawford County. 

Port Crescent State Park in Huron County also will see parking lot and road projects. 

In Ogemaw County, a cable pedestrian suspension bridge and observation tower will be upgraded at the Rifle River Recreation Area. 

Tawas Point State Park in Iosco County will see its campground electrical system replaced and modernized. 

The DNR has created a website at Michigan.gov/StateParksProgress to follow progress at the state parks.

2 – It’s back to school time, and nearly 200 schools in Michigan are recognized for being “green.”

The MI Green Schools program, previously run by a nonprofit, is now being operated by the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

The program provides stewardship-themed activities and info to support environmental education in grades K through 12. 

There aren’t any Saginaw Bay area schools on the 2021-22 Green Schools list. There are vacancies for coordinators in Arenac, Bay, Saginaw and Tuscola counties.

A school is eligible to receive a Green, Emerald or Evergreen designation if the school or students perform at least two activities in categories including recycling, energy and environmental protection.

3 – Consumers Energy is holding community meetings on 13 dams that the utility owns and operates on five Michigan rivers.

The utility says input from the sessions will help guide decisions about the future of the dams, which generate electricity. 

Licenses to operate Consumers Energy dams begin to expire in a dozen years. 

The meetings include one on the Mio Dam in Mio on Sept. 26, and others on the Foote Dam in Oscoda on Sept. 27 and the Cooke Dam in Oscoda on Sept. 28. 

Michigan United Conservation Clubs encourages anglers, paddlers, boaters or anyone concerned about water quality to consider joining the meetings.

For more info and to provide comments, see ConsumersEnergy.com/HydroFuture.

H/T Michigan United Conservation Clubs:

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes

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