New Mower for South Manitou Island


The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes purchased a new riding mower for volunteers to use in mowing around the village and historic farms and cemetery on South Manitou Island. This grant illustrates how most of our projects are accomplished.

Patty-on-Mower-250x333I received a call in the fall of 2012 from one of the volunteers who works on South Manitou Island. She told me that the mower they use there has fallen into disrepair and a new one was needed. Much of the mowing on the island is done by volunteers and they need a new, safe mower to keep the island looking good and maintaining the historic landscapes. I explained to her how a project like this gets done. The first step is to take the need to the appropriate person at the National Park Service management and it would have to be included on the annual project list we receive in the spring from Park Management. Then, if the project is prioritized by the park, the Friends board needs to see an interest and commitment by people to make it happen – that means donations! The Friends has a very limited budget, so to fund a project like this, requires donations from individuals or companies.

They did even better than that! They talked to their friends and to the local dealer who sold us the mower. The dealer (Lark Lawn & Garden, Grawn, MI) gave us a significant discount on the mower and the group was able to raise donations from individuals who wanted to see this project go forward that came just $500 short of the total price.

Now that’s TEAMWORK. Kudos to Patty Kelly & Gwen Glatz for making this project happen!

Mower-on-trailer-300x225Once the funds were in place, it took only a couple of days to get the mower to South Manitou Island. Memorial Day weekend saw Patty smiling as she mowed around the historic houses and farms on SMI. Thanks to David Chew, island Park Maintenance staff, a trailer was found to move the mower from the village to the farms! I hope you’re getting the idea that when we all get on the same page and work together we can make things happen!

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