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Great Lakes Now Presents

Episode 2201: Restore, Release

Lighthouse preservation, community renewal, and sturgeon teach Native American culture.

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Restore, Release – Episode 2201

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

 

Have a question about the Great Lakes or life in the region?

Ask Great Lakes Now, and if we can answer it, we might loop it into our coverage so others can learn too.

Submit Your Question

 

When to Watch?

Check your local station for when Great Lakes Now is on in your area.

STATIONS CARRYING THE SERIES


DPTV
Detroit, Michigan

WEAO
Akron, Ohio

WNEO-TV
Alliance, Ohio

WCML-TV
Alpena, Michigan

WDCP-TV
Bad Axe, Michigan

BCTV
Bay County, Michigan

WBGU-TV
Bowling Green, Ohio

WNED-TV
Buffalo, New York

WCMV-TV
Cadillac, Michigan

WTTW-TV
Chicago, Illinois

WVIZ-TV
Cleveland, Ohio

WKAR-TV
East Lansing, Michigan

WQLN-TV
Erie, Pennsylvania

WCMZ-TV
Flint, Michigan

WGVU-TV
Grand Rapids, Michigan

WPNE-TV
Green Bay, Wisconsin

WGVK-TV
Kalamazoo, Michigan

WHLA-TV
La Crosse, Wisconsin

WHA-TV
Madison, Wisconsin

WNMU-TV
Marquette, Michigan

WHWC-TV
Menomonie-Eau Claire, Wisconsin

WMVS-TV
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

WCMU-TV
Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

WLEF-TV
Park Falls, Wisconsin

WNIT-TV
South Bend, Indiana

WCNY-TV
Syracuse, New York

WGTE-TV
Toledo, Ohio

WDCQ-TV
University Center, Michigan

WNPI-TV
Watertown, New York for Ontario signal

WPBS-TV
Watertown, New York for U.S. signal

WHRM-TV
Wausau, Wisconsin

In the Month of January on Great Lakes Now

Click the tabs to read descriptions of each feature in Episode 2201.

Carl Jahn looks ahead as he and other volunteers approach the iconic Spectacle Reef Lighthouse. (Photo Credit: GLN)

Watch The Feature

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: 

An archival photo of the Pullman porters, many of whom were formerly enslaved. The porters worked on the Pullman railcars moving baggage, assisting passengers and and maintaining railcars. (Photo Credit: Pullman National Monument)

Watch The Feature

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: 

A group of students walks to the river to prepare for releasing a sturgeon into the wild. The day is the capstone of an educational sturgeon program created by the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. (Photo Credit: GLN)

Watch The Feature

Classroom Nmé

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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Digital Credits
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