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Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative partners with Horizons

(michigan.org) Gratiot River County Park contains 100 acres and 4,000’ of Lake Superior sand, slate, and cobble shoreline.

EAGLE RIVER — The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and the Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Horizons High School have formed a partnership under which Horizons school received a grant for its students to serve as model stewards of the Gratiot River Park.

The LSSI grant money was awarded to pay a professional geologist to assist students in creating a Geologic Scavenger Hunt at the Gratiot River Park, stated Meg North, of Horizons High School, in an email. North said the school also wants to make the project available to the general public.

“We may also create a virtual tour of the park,” the email states.

The purpose of the email was its necessity of being signed at the regular November meeting of the County Board.

Commissioner Sandra Gayk, who has been the driving force behind the development of the Gratiot River Park, said that the grant project is good for the county for several reasons.

“So, not only is that a wonderful project,” Gayk said in reference to North, “but she’s got kids involved, because, as you all know, we’ve had problems with vandalism, and the more people we can get involved with different projects out there, the more eyes and ears, and community ownership, then the better it will be.”

North, math and science teacher at Horizons, is also a committee member of the Friends of the Gratiot River Park, and was the one who applied for the grant, because her students have been involved in the park’s development and clean-up.

While the grant will cost the county nothing, said Gayk, it came about as a result of the contract excavator placing boulders around the perimeter of the parking lot. Through the grant, North is working with Geoheritage Education Coordinator Erika Vye at Michigan Technological University’sCenter for Science & Environmental Outreach.

“This project centers around the geology, and telling the story of Lake Superior, the boulders, and where they come from, and the history behind them,” Gayk explained, but the grant proposal requires the endorsement of the County, which was unanimously approved.

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