The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering a fresh idea in vacation destinations. The DNR is seeking volunteers to spend a week or two between March 1 and Dec. 20 acting as lighthouse keepers for the Tawas Point Lighthouse during the 2013 lighthouse keeper season. The lighthouse is located on the grounds of Tawas Point State Park along the shores of Lake Huron in East Tawas.Volunteers must be willing to study up on the lighthouse’s rich maritime history in order to lead visitor tours, work in the museum’s gift shop or perform other miscellaneous duties. In exchange for their work contribution, volunteers can stay in the newly renovated keeper’s quarters for a cost of $250 per person, per week. The living quarters include two bedrooms and a modern kitchen and bath.
“The lighthouse has been in operation since 1876 and is still an active aid to navigation,” said Chuck Allen, unit supervisor for Tawas Point. “It’s one of only nine lighthouses on the Great Lakes with a working Fresnel lens.”
The chance to enjoy spectacular views and the unique lodging has enticed vacationers to seek out the experience. According to Allen, 62 volunteer lighthouse keepers stayed in the lighthouse from April through Christmas in 2012.
The lighthouse keeper program is open to singles and couples 18 years and older. Allen suggested that volunteers should be physically able to lead tours through the lighthouse and tower and perform housekeeping duties such as light maintenance or lawn care. Applications can be obtained at www.michigan.gov/tawaslighthouse. Dates and prices are effective through 2013. For details, call 989-362-5658.
The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($30.50 annual; $8.40 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Chuck Allen, 989-362-5041 or Ed Golder, 517-335-3014
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