Visit our new web site -- www.midarkskypark.org -- to learn about our programs on July 31 and August events as well!

Recycling, DPW staff celebrates "Super" 35 years with Don Mapes

Don Mapes and DPW/Recycling Director Elisa Seltzer

Don Mapes, Superintendent of the Emmet County Department of Public Works, was honored this week for 35 years of service to the institution, which runs the popular Emmet County Recycling program.

Mapes started as a truck driver with the department in July of 1980.  He was promoted to Superintendent of the operation in the early 1990s.  Mapes’ tenure has included expansion of the county Solid Waste Transfer Station, development of Household Chemical Drop-off and Composting programs, and the entire evolution of the county’s award-winning recycling system, which collects 60 materials.

Department of Public Works Director Elisa Seltzer—a 25-year veteran of the department herself—noted that Mapes had been with the department for a decade when she was hired to run it and, especially, to implement the recycling program. In thanking Mapes for his service, Seltzer said,  “We have grown Emmet County Recycling from two drop sites, one truck and one building into one of the leading recycling systems in the state, serving four counties.  The people of Emmet County are rightfully proud of their Recycling Program and Don has been nothing less than integral to its growth.”

Visit the new Emmet County Recycling web site to learn more about recycling opportunities in Emmet County! www.emmetrecycling.org


Construction under way at new Emmet County EMS facility site in Mackinaw City

Schematic of Mackinaw City EMS substation

Construction has begun at the location of the second of three new Emmet County EMS facilities – this time in Mackinaw City. The new facility will be located on Central Avenue, at the site of a former motel that in recent years had been used to house seasonal, international workers. Chairman of the Emmet County Board of Commissioners Jim Tamlyn said the new facility will provide a boost to the community while providing life-saving care to those in the region.

“This is our second facility and we’re very excited to get started,” Tamlyn said. “Converting this site into an EMS station is a great use for the property and will help Emmet County EMS to serve the northern part of the county. We’re thrilled to keep moving along on these projects and the community looks forward to watching the progress.”

To read the complete article, visit the Emmet County EMS web site: www.emmetcountyems.org

Headlands Dark Sky Park receives $100,000 donation toward new observatory


The family that originally protected the Headlands International Dark Sky Park as a private wilderness property has awarded $100,000 to be used by Emmet County toward construction of an observatory at the Mackinaw City park.

The observatory is part of a new waterfront program facility to be built at the property beginning later this summer. The donation, made by a foundation of the McCormick family, was made to the newly established Dark Sky Coast Association, a 501(c)(3) that was created in response to numerous requests by individuals interested in donating to programming and facilities at the Headlands.

“We are so very proud to be continuing the legacy of the McCormick family at the Headlands property and we are extremely grateful for their generosity in helping us carry through the vision of protecting this acreage for all to enjoy,” said Marty Krupa, Emmet County Administrator. “We have been so fortunate to continue to receive both financial and personal, community support for our efforts at the Headlands.”

Mary Stewart Adams, Program Director at the Headlands, said the donation is another block in the foundation being built at Headlands to protect the night sky and to keep it accessible to the public. Since earning International Dark Sky Park designation in 2011, park usage has skyrocketed and each year Headlands welcomes tens of thousands of guests to the rugged wilderness to take in the night sky, a resource that is vanishing in many communities around Michigan and the globe.

To read the complete article, visit the Headlands web site

Excitement builds as Headlands project gets final green light

Conceptual plan of the new program and restroom facility at the Headlands.

With the final green light to proceed given from the Emmet County Board of Commissioners on July 15, 2015, construction is set to begin later this month on a new program facility, 24/7 accessible restrooms and an observatory at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.

The final go-ahead from the Board caps a planning process that has lasted several years as Emmet County officials have looked at ways to make the park more accessible to the tens of thousands of annual visitors, while mitigating development that would detract from the natural beauty and features of the park. That vision has culminated in a $7.66 million plan for a waterfront program facility that will house programs inside and out and be available to the public for event and meeting rentals, family reunions, weddings and more. Plus, the building will address the lack of restroom facilities at the park, particularly for those with accessibility challenges.

“We have taken a very cautious approach to planning out a facility at the park that will accommodate our growing number of visitors, while providing much-needed program space and bathrooms,” said Laurie Gaetano, Parks and Recreation Director. “It’s very exciting to be at this stage in this  multi-year process. We look forward to seeing construction start this summer.”

To read the complete article visit the Headlands web site: www.midarkskypark.org 

Do you know someone who does great things preserving and promoting our County's history?


We want to hear about them ... and give them an award!

Regional history group announces 2015 recognition program for area achievers in historical preservation, promotion

Throughout Northwest Michigan, individuals, volunteers and organizations are protecting and preserving this region’s rich history in ways not often recognized by the public. But without these caretakers of our past, many stories that have defined this area of Michigan would be lost to the passage of time and memory. To recognize these extraordinary efforts in protecting, preserving and sharing our history, the Essence of Emmet – a local collaborative of organizations and individuals sharing an interest in our history – has announced its second annual Essence of Emmet History Awards program for 2015.

To be eligible for the awards, the recipient(s) must be individuals and organizations dedicated to the preservation, presentation and promotion of the history and culture of Emmet County. (Individuals serving on the Essence of Emmet group are not eligible.)  Work or programs must have taken place in the last 18 months within Emmet County, though the nominated party does not need to be a resident of Emmet County.

“The Essence of Emmet group has been discovering a really vast network of people, organizations and groups in our communities who are doing fascinating, important work preserving the stories from the past,” said Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks and an Essence of Emmet member. “It was a real tribute to see the number of individuals nominated during our inaugural year in 2014 and we had a fun celebration tied to one of our history programs in the fall. We plan to do the same type of program this year in September.”

For complete details about how to nominate an organization, individual or group for an award, nomination form and for the various categories to be awarded, click here!



IMAGINE magazine 2015

Emmet County's annual magazine, Imagine, is now available! This year's digital publication includes a number of enhanced features, including new videos and social media sharing capabilities on each article. A refreshed design complements the annual features that tell the stories of those who live, work, play and invest in Emmet County, Michigan.

To access the digital Imagine magazine, click here!

If you would like to request a copy of the print version to be mailed to you, at no charge, email Imagine's Editor Beth Anne Eckerle at beckerle@emmetcounty.org or call (231) 348-1704. The cover features a photo of Wilderness State Park.

We hope you enjoy reading about the people, places, businesses and organizations that make Emmet County a place like no other!



'Essence of Emmet' history magazine Part II


Essence of Emmet PART I          
Essence of Emmet PART II

The second in a four-part historical series covering the history of Emmet County, called the "Essence of Emmet" magazine, is available!

Part II covers the "Century of Change" in Emmet County, from 1813 to 1917. During this timeframe, the way of life in Northwest Michigan underwent drastic changes, from a mostly Native American population to the arrival of the French and ultimately the British. It was the era that saw the railroads arrive and with them, abundant tourism. Marketing of Emmet County began, and some of our "firsts" arrived -- the first doctor, the first architect, and many others. It also was the era that had tremendous impact on the lives of our Odawa residents, who were faced with assimilation, treaties to remain on their lands and pressures to change the only way of life they'd ever known.

If you would like a complimentary copy of the Essence of Emmet, contact its editor, Beth Anne Eckerle, at beckerle@emmetcounty.org, or call (231) 348-1704. The magazine series is produced by a collaborative of Emmet County historical organizations, with credentialed historians as writers and contributors.

Essence of Emmet editions: Part I was published in January 2014, covering pre-contact through 1812. Part III will publish in January 2016, covering 1918-1960; the final installment, Part IV, will be out in January 2017, covering 1961 through contemporary times.

Visitors' Guide showcases the best of Emmet County!


Take a look at Emmet County's highlights in our new mini visitors' guide, which will be available just after Jan. 1, 2015! In it, you'll enjoy the amenities and assets that make Emmet County the one of a kind place it is to work, live and play! And as you'll see and read through the pages, Quality of Life is Everything in Emmet County.

If you'd like a complimentary copy of the Emmet County Visitors' Guide, Imagine magazine, Essence of Emmet history magazine or other maps and brochures, contact Communications Director Beth Anne Eckerle at beckerle@emmetcounty.org or by calling (231) 348-1704.

Imagine Magazine

Essence of Emmet history

Request a road map/brochures