New observation deck built to protect endangered species
A dedication ceremony for a new observation deck on Glen Lake was held Wednesday to celebrate the multiple environmental benefits it created.
The project has been in the works for two years, and was completed by the SEEDS youth corps. Students from Kalkaska and Leelanau County constructed the deck at Old Settlers Park.
The students harvested and milled Black Locust wood, an invasive species in the area to build the deck.
The deck gives onlookers a view of a cluster of Michigan monkey flowers, an endangered species found only in Michigan, and it keeps people from walking down the hill and accidentally trampling them.
â??Not only did it preserve and protect an endangered species, we removed an invasive species to build it,â?? said SEEDS youth programs director Bill Watson. â??It gave young people jobs and work and helped them get school credit while they were doing the work at the same time. Itâ??s an incredible win-win project and the county ends up with a really lovely deck in their park.â??
Organizers said the deck was possible due to help from volunteers and a grant given by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.