2018-09-08 / News

Mackinac Associates Tour Trail at Annual Meeting


State Park Naturalist Jeff Dykehouse points out features of the conifer overstory along a section of the new botanical trail being developed. The trail will be dedicated next June, and many of the new plantings will continue to develop in future years. State Park Naturalist Jeff Dykehouse points out features of the conifer overstory along a section of the new botanical trail being developed. The trail will be dedicated next June, and many of the new plantings will continue to develop in future years. Mackinac Associates, the friends group that raises money for educational outreach, special projects, and other programs at Mackinac State Historic Parks, was treated to a preview of the new botanical trail being built on the road to Arch Rock during the group’s annual meeting Saturday, August 18. A tour of a section of the trail was led by the park’s naturalist, Jeff Dyke- house, and contracted landscaper, Jack Barnwell, before dinner under a tent outside the walls of Fort Mackinac.

The new trail will encompass the various ecosystems found on Mackinac Island, from its coastal plants along the water, wetlands and dense forest in the middle, and mixed hardwood forest at the highest elevations. It is tentatively scheduled to be dedicated in June 2019, when a blanket of trilliums and lady slippers will be in bloom.


Above: To members of Mackinac Associates, Jack Barnwell shows new fern plants that will line a portion of the bicycle trail that stretches from behind Fort Mackinac to Arch Rock. The new botanical exhibit will collect plants from all the ecosystems here for display along turnouts on the bicycle trail. Above: To members of Mackinac Associates, Jack Barnwell shows new fern plants that will line a portion of the bicycle trail that stretches from behind Fort Mackinac to Arch Rock. The new botanical exhibit will collect plants from all the ecosystems here for display along turnouts on the bicycle trail. Highlights of the meeting included the introduction of the group’s new director, Michelle Walk, who will replace longtime administrator Diane Dombroski, and the addition to the board of directors of Nancy Porter and Michael “Skip” Young, Jr. Renewed terms were approved by the membership for Jack Barnwell, Wesley Maurer, and Kathy Lieder.

Mackinac Associates, with close to 3,000 members nation-wide, raises more than $300,000 a year for park projects.



Mackinac Associates members Vince Lumetta and Linda Rogers moved to the Island several years ago after retirement from teaching in the East Lansing area. Mackinac Associates members Vince Lumetta and Linda Rogers moved to the Island several years ago after retirement from teaching in the East Lansing area.

Susanna Franks shows off the newest Franks family member, Lily Rose, at the Mackinac Associates annual meeting. (Photograph courtesy of Dominick Miller) Susanna Franks shows off the newest Franks family member, Lily Rose, at the Mackinac Associates annual meeting. (Photograph courtesy of Dominick Miller)

Craig Harris and Meredith McLellan enjoy dinner at the Mackinac Associates annual meeting. They live in Cheboygan and reside in a lakeshore cottage near Old Mill Creek in the summers, where he volunteers his time. She has been using her talents in vocational training with the Cheboygan school system. Craig Harris and Meredith McLellan enjoy dinner at the Mackinac Associates annual meeting. They live in Cheboygan and reside in a lakeshore cottage near Old Mill Creek in the summers, where he volunteers his time. She has been using her talents in vocational training with the Cheboygan school system.

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