Though not the flashiest or most spectacular, this week’s Friday favorite is my regular place to hike. It is less of a handsome tuxedo and more of a favorite autumn sweater. One summer in Traverse City, I hiked somewhere in this network of trails every day. I am talking about the Grand Traverse Commons Natural Area, nestled in the old State Hospital grounds.
A perfect place to walk a dog, meet a friend, or test your new mountain bike, the Commons is just that – a common area for everyone to enjoy.
Revisiting my old familiar grounds this week, I stomped up a hill to a place I had forgotten about. Tucked back in the trails is a freshwater spring sprouting out of the dirt and spilling down the rocks and roots nearby. It carried more weight this week because we just released our report, The Sixth Great Lake: The Emergency Threatening Michigan’s Overlooked Groundwater Resource.
The sixth Great Lake – the groundwater that exists beneath our feet – is the unsung and unseen hero. We rely on groundwater for much of our daily use yet do not often see it, but every so often, we see it emerge as a spring.
Can you find this spring in the Commons?