IN THIS EPISODE:
Volunteers work to preserve a historic Great Lakes lighthouse, a Chicago community finds new life through embracing its past and high school students learn about Native American culture with the help of lake sturgeon.
WHERE WE TAKE YOU IN JANUARY
GREAT LAKES LEARNING:
Explore this month’s hands-on lesson plans designed to help your middle schoolers understand the Great Lakes — all at home or in the classroom. They’re aligned to standards and free to download.Lesson Plans
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When to Watch?
Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.
STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES
Bad Axe, Michigan
Bay County, Michigan
Bowling Green, Ohio
Buffalo, New York
East Lansing, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Green Bay, Wisconsin
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Menomonie-Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Park Falls, Wisconsin
South Bend, Indiana
Syracuse, New York
University Center, Michigan
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal
Love for a Lighthouse
SEGMENT 1 | Northern Lake Huron and Cheboygan, Michigan
The Spectacle Reef Lighthouse sits 17 miles from the mainland in the Straits of Mackinac. It was considered a marvel of construction when it was built in 1869 and became a model for lighthouses constructed throughout the northern Great Lakes.
A group of lighthouse enthusiasts bought the structure and formed a non-profit organization, Spectacle Reef Preservation Society, dedicated to preserving and restoring the lighthouse. Every weekend from the spring to the fall a group of volunteers travel to the lighthouse by boat and work on renovations. Their goal is to make the lighthouse an educational center where visitors can come and learn about the history of lighthouses on the Great Lakes.
One of the challenges to working on the lighthouse is unpredictable weather. The day our Great Lakes Now crew joined the volunteers, high winds and heavy seas threatened the team’s efforts.
“When you’re this far offshore on the second most remote lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Mother Nature calls the shots,” said Patrick McKinstry, the president of the Spectacle Reef Preservation Society.
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on lighthouse restoration:
Greening the Pullman Neighborhood
SEGMENT 2 | Chicago, Illinois
Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood on the southside of the city was almost bulldozed out of existence.
It was once a thriving company town founded by George Pullman. His company built luxurious railroad cars, employing hundreds of workers. But, the Pullman neighborhood fell on hard times when the industry dried up.
Plans were in the works to turn the nearly forgotten area into an airport. But, Pullman residents rose up and fought City Hall.
Today, Pullman is thriving again after politicians, business and community leaders worked together to come up with a plan. Capitalizing on Pullman’s rich history, they attracted investors and breathed new life into an old, rusted out industrial corridor to create a sustainable green industry success story.
Can this same formula be used to rescue other struggling Rust Belt communities in the Great Lakes Region?
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on sustainability in communities:
SEGMENT 3 | Pellston, Michigan
When the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians in northern Michigan decided to create an educational program that would highlight their current natural resources work, the tribe naturally turned to lake sturgeon or nmé, the grandfather fish to pull it all together.
The first lake sturgeon started high school in Pellston, Mich. with the class of 2014.
The program proved successful but expanding into more classrooms created new challenges.
Like, what if the fish got sick? How would the LTBB biologists in northern Michigan help fish in classrooms that were hundreds of miles away on the other side of the state?
Here is other Great Lakes Now work on sturgeon:
Videos from Episode 2201
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How coal ash is threatening Lake Michigan, ideas for beneficial coal ash reuse and The Catch.
Saving salamanders, how Great Lakes ports fit into global shipping and The Catch.
Controlling invasive sea lamprey, hazards in our homes, and a Great Lakes news update.
The Great Lakes News Collaborative looks at the cost of water in the region and beyond.
A giant fungus in a tiny Great Lakes town, gangsters vacation “Up North,” and “The Catch.”
Sailing on ice, Lake Ontario winter surfing and three Lake Michigan news stories.
The science of shrinking ice coverage, Great Lakes ice fishing and skating on wild ice.
Lighthouse preservation, community renewal, and sturgeon teach Native American culture.
Plovers nest on a Chicago beach, suckers spawn in Wisconsin, and storms rage in Duluth.
Greener shipping in Indiana, the Benton Harbor lead crisis and water safety in Ontario.
Can two Great Lakes mayors with opposing views agree on how to protect the region’s water?
Building boats, cleaning up trash and uncovering amazing fossils around the Great Lakes.
Birds vs. buildings in Chicago, algae blooms on Lake Superior, and aquariums re-open.
Catch the latest updates on what’s happening with PFAS in Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.
Ontario’s microbreweries are teaming up for an ale trail or IPA itinerary for tourists and locals.
It’s unclear whether the ruling will affect other conflicts around the state involving drainage projects that preserve farmlands but increase the volume of pollutants flowing downstream.
The county prosecutor’s office in Cleveland has opened an investigation into an apparent cheating scandal during a walleye fishing tournament.
The Great Lakes Now Series is produced by Rob Green and Sandra Svoboda.