Cool calls East Tawas improvements 'Exemplary'|
State and local officials gathered today at Tawas
Point State Park in East Tawas to dedicate the park's recently renovated
lighthouse and celebrate more than $3 million in improvements to the
area's recreational infrastructure.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director K.L. Cool led
a group of state and local elected officials, DNR staff, and public
participants in ceremoniously turning on the ground lights for the
lighthouse, deeded to the state by the federal government last year and
reconditioned to look as it did during the early 1900s.
Areas improved include Tawas Point State Park and its
lighthouse, the East Tawas State Harbor, the East Tawas Boat Access
Site, and the Tawas Lake Boat Access Site.
"East Tawas is a wonderful community, one with a history of
strong support for its state park," said Director Cool. "This park was
one of the initial inspirations for the Clean Michigan Initiative. The
DNR selected Tawas Point as a demonstration site to exemplify our
multifaceted restoration efforts, and we are quite proud of the result."
An assortment of funding sources contributed to the
construction. Waterways Improvement Funds provided more than $1.4
million in improvements at the harbor and boat access sites. The
majority of the park improvements were funded by the Clean Michigan
Initiative. Spearheaded through the Legislature by Gov. John Engler,
this $675 million environmental bond program was overwhelmingly approved
by voters in 1998 and provided $50 million to address critical
infrastructure needs at 56 of Michigan's 96 State Parks. More than $1.37
million of the Tawas improvements came from CMI.
The daylong celebration included free admittance to the park and
guided public tours of the lighthouse and area improvements.
"This lighthouse is an illuminated welcome beacon for the marine
community," Cool said. "It will also serve as a constant reminder to the
residents and visitors of East Tawas that Governor John Engler and the
DNR maintain a strong commitment to serve communities as caretakers of
our natural resources."