Monday, August 15, 2016

Get Outside!!!!

Hello to my blog readers.  I want to apologize for not having a blog out for July, but hey it is summer and a crazy busy time.  So my people, this will be a short blog with updates and challenges to get you out and about playing fudgie or getting in the water or camping or hiking or whatever floats your boat. 

As you all know, we have a few weeks of summer left before the leaves change, and the grapes get harvested to make the great up north wine we are lucky enough to drink. 

With that said, I challenge everyone to put the phones down, call a sitter, and go enjoy the rest of August doing a ton of fun things.  Between the YPs and (below), you will have the hook-up on all fun activities, adventures, and ideas.

1)  Hike the Treat Farm Trail in Empire.  It may seem like a long drive, but I promise you once you get there and walk through the woods, there is a great opening where the old Treat Farm sits and past the farm you can hike all over the place.  There are trails everywhere.  It brings you to a bluff right above Lake Michigan and if you are daring enough you can slowly scale down the bluff and relax on the rocky beach where you will not see a soul.

2)  Drive to Northport in the morning if possible on Friday; grab a cinnamon twist from Barb's Bakery and head down to the marina for the Farmer's Market where the fresh produce and goodies are incredible.  Then take a short drive to Peterson Park and walk down the 115 steps to Lake Michigan and hunt for rocks or Petoskey Stones.

3)  Rent a kayak, canoe or take your own and go down the Crystal River in Glen Arbor.  It is absolutely beautiful and calming down the river.  Once completed, head into downtown Glen Arbor, grab a burger at Boone Docks or Art's Tavern. 

4)  Head to Old Mission Peninsula Lighthouse and hike around all the trails that surround it.  You may run into a few out of towners, but to be out there is awesome.  You will for sure work up at appetite for some great food and of course wine, so head to Jolly Pumpkin for some great food and hit a few wineries on the way home. 

I challenge everyone that reads this blog to do at least 1 of the actives above if not all of them.  If you are a master and do all of them and need more, don't you worry.  Craving more ideas...? Check out our new blog partner, MyNorth, for more ideas on how to enhance your Northern Michigan experience!

AUGUST MYNORTH.COM FEATURE: Our Friends at, an awesome resource for local events, concerts, events and food, wrote an incredible story on what to do in Northern Michigan to savor the last bit of summer in August.  You should check it out as well as their website, which has a slew of other information.     10 Things to Do in Northern Michigan in August

August Updates
Grand Traverse County

"Get Out and Play" Crowdfunding Campaign Limited time remains in the on-line crowdfunding campaign for a new playground – the Get Out and Play Project – at Grand Traverse County’s Civic Center Park. If, by August 31, the community has pledged $50,000 total toward the "Get Out and Play" project, then the MEDC and MSHDA will match that amount with a $50,000 grant.

For more information about the Get Out and Play Civic Center playground project, to view the design, and to donate, visit:

Traverse Heights Elementary School Receives School Supply Donations from Newlyweds

 Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Traverse Heights Elementary School received a gift of school supplies from a unique donor, newlyweds. Kristy (VerSnyder) Tomczak and Vince Tomczak requested that guests at their July 2, 2016, wedding bring school supplies in lieu of traditional gifts. The Tomczaks provided attendees with a wish list created by staff at Traverse Heights Elementary School and their guests, in turn, donated an overwhelming amount of school supplies. Donations included backpacks, notebooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, rulers, scissors, books, clothes, shoes, and $600 in gift cards. “Vince and I decided that we wanted to put the good will of those who wished to help us celebrate our wedding day with presents to the best use possible,” said Kristy Tomczak. “We felt that the students at Traverse Heights Elementary would be a wonderful benefactor of our guest’s generosity, and our friends and family agreed. We received many comments that this was the most meaningful wedding gift they ever bought.

 TCAPS’ NWEA Scores Show High Student Proficiency and Strong Growth
Traverse City Area Public Schools’ scores on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessment during the 2015-16 school indicate that TCAPS students are performing well above the national norm, scoring between the 60th and 90th percentile in reading and math across all grade levels assessed, kindergarten through 9th grade. In addition, students demonstrated growth well above the 50th percentile mark in kindergarten through 8th grade, outpacing the growth norms in the country. NWEA is a valuable tool that provides teachers with detailed and immediate information regarding student progress and understanding of content. The assessment adjusts to each student’s ability level and provides a growth target based on the individual student. The data allows teachers, students, and parents to monitor growth, deliver appropriate and targeted instruction, and celebrate academic successes.

TCAPS’ Music Program to Perform at Premier State Music Event
The TCAPS K-12 Music Department has been selected to present the opening night concert at the 2017 Michigan Music Conference on Thursday, January 19, 2017, at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids. More than 500 5th through 12th graders are expected to perform at the event. TCAPS completed an extensive application process that included providing written documentation describing the district’s music curriculum and audio recordings of each of the secondary ensembles from the 2015-16 school year and two previous school years. The selection process stipulated the selected school district present elementary through high school musical performances that would showcase the entire music curriculum. TCAPS was last featured in 2005 at the 60th Annual Midwestern Music Conference performed at the Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. More information about the Michigan Music Conference:

Free TCAPS Preschool Option Available Through Great Start Readiness Program
Qualifying families can participate in a free, full-day preschool program through the Great Start Readiness Program. The program is offered Monday through Thursday (no classes on Friday) at Blair Elementary School, Central Grade School, Cherry Knoll Elementary School, Courtade Elementary School, Long Lake Elementary School and Traverse Heights Elementary School.  If interested, please contact the Northwest Community Action Agency at 231-346-2116 to apply (eligibility determined at time of application).

 TCAPS Board Coffee Conversation—August 25th
The TCAPS Board of Education will host its monthly Coffee Conversation on Thursday, August 25th, at Horizon Books in downtown Traverse City from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Attendees have the opportunity to discuss any topic of interest with a TCAPS board member at the meeting.

TCAPS Fall High School Sports Tryouts and Practice Begin in August  
Fall high school sports at Traverse City Central High School and Traverse City West Senior High School begin conducting tryouts and practicing the week of August 8th. Fall sports include: cheer/dance, boys' and girls' cross-country, equestrian, football, girls' golf, boys' soccer, girls' swimming, boys' tennis and volleyball. All athletes must have a sports physical dated on or after April 15, 2016, on file with the athletic office prior to trying out for any high school sports. More information:
City of Traverse City Update

New Resident Guide to City Services – The City has recently published a guide for various city services. This guide is not only helpful for all newcomers, but to longtime residents as well. Hard copies of this guide can be picked up at the Governmental Center or a digital version can be viewed at

 Elections Inspectors Needed! If you are interested in being a part of the Election process and working in a precinct on Election Day, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 231-922-4480. Election Inspectors typically work from 5:45 a.m. until roughly 10:00 p.m. on Election Day and are paid for their time.

 Seeking Volunteers! The City is currently looking for volunteers to serve on various boards and committees. If you are interested in becoming involved with your local government, visit

 Construction Season – keep a look out! The City has various construction projects taking place; please use caution when driving through these areas. For up to date information on construction projects and road project, visit our website at and check the City News & Highlights section.


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  2. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me! Progressive Gardens looks so neat, I really wish we had a store like that nearby. & yum for sweet potato pizza!
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