Salted with Sharks

Archive for the ‘Green Elbertians’ Category

Benzie Emergency Management Seeks Feedback on Its Natural Hazards Draft Plan

In Agriculture, Community Alert, E Beach, Elsewhere in BenCo..., Environment, Fishing, Gov't Watch, Green Elbertians, Infrastructure and Planning, On and off the Apron, Open Season, Public Safety, Transportation, Water, Weather, Wildlife on January 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm

Get back to Frank Post, our county emergency management coordinator, by email or phone asap! (, 231-882-0567)

Read and download the draft plan here: 2015 Hazard Mitigation Plan

More information is available at the Region 7 website.

Road Ends Sign Gone

In Community Alert, E Beach, Environment, Green Elbertians, Open Season, Transportation on May 4, 2014 at 8:42 pm

The “Road Ends” sign the Village installed last June has apparently been removed (not by the Village). Jennifer Wilkins sent this photo yesterday, May 3.

Photo by Jennifer Wilkins

Photo by Jennifer Wilkins

Upcoming Special Waste Collections

In Community Alert, Green Elbertians on February 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Clip out and stick on your fridge! Or, well, just write them down.

Special Waste Collections 2014

New Business: Eco-Building Products Open House!

In Breaking, Calendar, Community Alert, GOOD NEWS, Green Elbertians, On and off the Apron on October 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Next Wednesday! Delicious free food, beer and music at Eco-Building Products’ open house beginning at 7 pm. Come and meet our new business neighbors in the old Elberta Beach Market building: owner Jim Barnes and staff Greg Kindig and Lisa Richter. We kind of feel like we should be the ones rolling out the welcome wagon, but hey! Word is Eco will be holding more such gatherings, along with hikes and exercise classes. They must really like us…

eco building products open house

Paul May Benefit Oct. 13

In Agriculture, Calendar, Community Alert, Culture Bluffs, Farmers' Market, Green Elbertians on September 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

Paul May Fundraiser Poster

Plant It Wild Has Tips for Your Shady Spots

In Calendar, Community Alert, Green Elbertians, Open Season, Wildlife on August 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm

By Cheryl Gross for Plant It Wild

Plant It Wild is offering “Shade Gardening with Michigan Native Woodland Plants and Ferns” by the landscape expert Brian Zimmerman on  Wednesday, August 28, 7 pm, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Michigan native plants will be for sale at the program.

Shade gardening can be a challenge.  If you have a shady spot in your garden or can create such a spot, you will not want to miss this presentation. Brian Zimmerman, the owner and landscape designer of Four Season Nursery,  will draw on his extensive knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to explain how a landscape designer formulates ideas into a design and then implements it.

Brian spent 24 years working for his father’s landscaping firm before opening his own business, Brian Zimmerman and Associates, in 1996.  The firm is focused on residential landscape design and construction projects as well as post-planting care and maintenance services.  Four Season Nursery is located at 7557 Harry’s Rd, off M-72 near Traverse City and is a member of the Go Beyond Beauty program. Go Beyond Beauty nurseries have committed to keeping high-threat invasive plants out of their retail supply and offer desirable Michigan native plants instead. Mr. Zimmerman has also initiated a Plant Michigan Native program to encourage homeowners to use native Michigan plants in their landscape design choices; he makes the decision easier for his customers by having as many native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers as possible in his inventory.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 28, 7 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, 955 James Street in Frankfort. As a bonus, many beautiful native plants from Four Season  Nursery will be on sale.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public. There will be a social time following the meeting.

Plant It Wild is a Michigan native plant organization whose mission is to foster greater awareness and appreciation of the fragile natural environment of our region. Through direct efforts, we work to preserve, protect and promote the natural beauty of the area and its plant communities. For information contact Phyllis at 231-392-1206 or Carolyn at 352-6962.

Sure, you love your century-plus-old tree, but what to plant under it?

One of two century-plus-old black locust trees on the corner of Washington and Bigley. Wouldn’t trade them, but what can handle the shade under them?

The May Farm: Greener Pastures

In Agriculture, Community Alert, Green Elbertians, On and off the Apron, The Mess Deck on August 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

During my three years in Ithaca, New York (which must have one of the premier farmers’ markets in the country), I was spoiled by delicious organically raised dairy delivered to a porch around the block from where I lived every week, in addition to abundant options for nitrite-free, free-range, organic, pastured meats. When I first came to Benzie County and Elberta, I was encouraged by the Elberta Farmers’ Market and the variety of nearby local food producers. When I finally decided to make Elberta my home, the May Farm was a key factor. Knowing that I could find sustainably and humanely produced meat, dairy, and eggs within a couple of miles of my house made all the difference for me as I contemplated my decision. I think Paul May was actually one of the first Benzie people I talked to the winter after I bought my house in the Village. I didn’t even know any of my neighbors yet, but I knew I wanted to sign up for shares of some good wholesome food as soon as possible.

Seven years later, “community supported agriculture” is taking on a whole new meaning for me and for everyone who loves the May Farm and what they do. Paul May was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. With treatments and surgery, the family is relying heavily on the help of friends, neighbors and customers to keep the farm running. To volunteer for a weekly farm chore shift or to pitch in at an upcoming work bee (August 10 & 17th from 10-12), call Sharron May at 352-3966. Or consider attending the Trinity Lutheran Church Praise Band Concert in the Park on August 27th. Dinner is at 6 pm, the concert starts at 7 pm and the proceeds will help offset medical expenses.

The following is a great article by Ann Sinclair that explains in some scientific detail exactly what’s special about Paul May’s grazing technique, and why it is truly revolutionary. It’s not the kind of farming you do if you want to get rich (not that many kinds of farming really are); it’s what you do when you’re thinking seven or more generations down the line and you want to do it right. As Annie writes, the May Farm’s work not only keeps the animals optimally healthy, it preserves and enhances the land—and that benefits us all. —Emily Votruba


Plant It Wild Has Tips for Your Backyard Wilderness

In Green Elbertians, Open Season, Wildlife on July 16, 2013 at 12:32 am

By Cheryl Gross for Plant It Wild

Plant It Wild invites you to a program on forest management to improve wildlife habitat July 24, 7 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church, Frankfort. Eric Ellis, of the Conservation Resource Alliance, will be speaking on private sustainable forest management, planting native flora, invasive species removal, improving wildlife habitat, and maintaining the ecological integrity of riparian corridors. Given the destruction of our trees from invasive insects and other diseases, property owners will want and need to understand how to manage a succession forest.

The Conservation Resource Alliance works to maintain and restore regional riparian and wildlife corridors. Efforts include road/stream crossing repair, invasive species control, native tree and shrub plantings, stream bank stabilization, fish habitat improvements, and sustainable forestry implementation. Recent projects have focused on restoring early successional forests to improve wildlife habitat, especially for migratory bird species. This presentation will provide an overview of early successional restoration techniques as practiced in northern Michigan and will review the forest types, native plant species, and wildlife that benefit most from this work. Numerous examples from on-the-ground projects will be presented.

Eric Ellis is a wildlife habitat biologist and native Michigander who received his BS in resource ecology and management from the University of Michigan. He later worked in the Peace Corps in parks/wildlife. He completed an MS degree at the University of Idaho College of Natural Resources. Eric now works in Traverse City, managing the Conservation Resource Alliance’s Wild Link program.

Admission to the program is free and open to the public. There will be a social time following the meeting.

Plant It Wild is a Michigan native plant organization whose mission is to foster greater awareness and appreciation of the fragile natural environment of our region. Through direct efforts, we work to preserve, protect, and promote the natural beauty of the area and its plant communities. For information contact Phyllis at 231-392-1206 or Carolyn at 352-6962.

A pitcher's thistle, just one of many rare plant and animal species we can learn to protect in our area.

A pitcher’s thistle, just one of many rare plant and animal species we can learn to protect in our area.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Signup

In Community Alert, Green Elbertians on July 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Hey, people with Hazardous Household Waste! Come out of your dark corners and show your faces. Having oil based paints, stains, thinners, cleaning solvents, aerosol cans, ballast, garden chemicals, flammable liquids, CFL’s, other fluorescent bulbs, contaminated automotive fluids, old and expired medications, mercury thermometers and switches is nothing to be ashamed of. Today is the first day to make appointments to dispose of these items on August 10. Call 231-882-0554. You’ll hear the outgoing message of Kathy Ralston, interim recycling coordinatrix.

Benzie Recycling Special Collections page 2


Benzie Recycling Special Collections


Signs Installed to Mark Beach Road

In Breaking, Community Alert, E Beach, Gov't Watch, Green Elbertians, Infrastructure and Planning, Law & Order, Open Season, Transportation on June 28, 2013 at 1:19 am

With authorization from Council, Ken Bonney today installed stakes and signage to demarcate the Village’s platted road, known as Lakeside Boulevard. Over the years, the undeveloped stretch has become by turns rutted and covered over with soft sand, and several byways have been cut through use. The long-standing issue of off-road dune driving, which has included frequent attempts by some people to use trucks and other vehicles to climb the bluffs on either side of the unmarked road, came to a head in early spring 2012 when several calls by concerned citizens prompted Diane Jenks to ask Bonney to install a gate just past the last house near the beginning of the (unmarked) road. That gate was removed by Eric Van Dussen, put up, removed again, put up, and removed a third time (not, Van Dussen said, by him). Since last year, a Beach Committee led by Jenks has met several times to discuss solutions to the offroading problem and address the concerns of environmentalists, property owners, and the beachgoing public.

At recent Council meetings, Ken Bonney was given the go ahead to stake out the road and apply for a permit to have the road graded and developed with gravel. How the actual development would be paid for, no one knew. At the June meeting, council heard a presentation by Cheryl Gross, a member of a group of residents calling themselves the Dunes Neighbors. Gross’s presentation outlined a plan to raise funds to develop the road and bring other amenities to the beach area. The first step in that process occurred today, June 27.

Bonney said he wanted to make sure there was plenty of room for people to park for Fourth of July fireworks, so he placed some of the “No Motor Vehicles” signs a bit wide of the actual platted roadway. Ken noted that it’s almost impossible to drive along parts of the official road area unless you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle. He said the grading, demarcation, and improvement of the road is intended to make it easier, not harder, for most vehicles to enjoy access to the beach. There will be angled parking in several spots along the 50-foot-wide Village right of way. The road plan jogs in places, while still remaining within the platted area, to accommodate trees and other plantlife that have established themselves over the years, Ken said.

At the very end of the platted road, stop signs and a Road Ends sign were placed. Beyond this point is private property and protected dune. Fines of up to $1,000 may be levied against violators of the state and federal law against driving off-road in this natural area. Bonney said he hoped the sheriff’s department, who he said he had invited to visit while he posted stakes and signs, would apprise themselves of the location of the road. Sheriff Schendel, former sheriff Rory Heckman, and representatives from the DNR have all said at various times that the law was almost impossible to enforce in part because no one could tell where the road actually is. Ken Bonney, Village Council members, the Dunes Neighbors, and others hope this will be the beginning of the end of a contentious problem that has made it difficult and even dangerous for some residents and visitors to reach the beach.—Emily Votruba


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