Harvest Moon Party Is Back

The Harvest Moon Party returns to Clark Lake, and this time in a new location.  This event, that benefits the Clark Lake Community Center, will be held at the Clark Lake Yacht Club on Saturday, October 14th at 6 pm.  

Wide angle view of the Clark Lake Yacht Club

The Community Center promises delicious food, live entertainment, live and silent auctions, and 50/50.  It’s BYOB. 

East side of the Clark Lake Community Center

This a major fundraiser that aims to keep the Clark Community Center operational sound. Tickets are $50, and there will only be a limited number available. For tickets, call 529-9117 or 529-9653.

Harvest Moon 2013

You may recall past Harvest Moon Parties were held at Mickel’s Barn.  To read about the last Harvest Moon in 2013, please click here.

Clark Lake’s Memorial Day Salute

The focus of the three day Memorial Day holiday is not lost at Clark Lake.  Each  year there is a touching salute to those in the military who died in service to our country.  This year Dick Tallman will deliver the Memorial Day address in front of the Clark Lake Community Church on Hyde Road.  Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel and many will remember him as a prominent State Farm agent in Napoleon. 

Prior to the speech, the Clark Lions put on the “biggest, little” Memorial Day parade.  It moves from north to south on Hyde Road, turns around at the Township Park and then heads north.  Once heading north, the parade will stop in front of the Columbia Township Cemetery where two members of the Columbia Central Band will play taps–first at the front of the cemetery, and then echoed at the rear, a very moving experience. 

According to the Lions’ Walt Reed, parade participants should assemble not later than 8 am at the schoolhouse on North Lake Road.  The parade begins to move at 8:30 am.   Included are the Columbia Central Band, Junior ROTC Color Guard, Napoleon Lions Band, fire trucks, police car, decorated golf carts, bikes, horses, and cars old and new. 

Walt notes each child who participates in the parade will be awarded a two dollar bill (age 12 and under). 

To put you in the spirit, here’s the Columbia Central Band with our National Anthem played at last year’s event.

To review past Memorial Day events, click on the year — 2016, 2015, 2014.

Garden Angels Work Their Magic

Clark Lake’s Garden Angels were hard at work Tuesday evening–in the rain!  Determination combined with their magical gardening skills are once again transforming the Clark Lake landscape at the east end. In these photos, the Angels are focused on refining their handiwork at the North Lake and Ocean Beach Roads triangle.  A year ago, they took it all down and started anew. And the results speak for themselves.  

Last year, the Angels created a logo for the lake in the form of a “C” and “L” overlaid.  This year, they raised its profile by bringing in a small mountain of rich topsoil so it’s more visible as you pass by. 

In addition to the triangle, the Garden Angels also cultivate the area around the Clark Lake Community Center.  In all there were eleven Angels working their magic Tuesday evening.  And here is a sampling of their work.

You can make a tax advantaged donation to the Garden Angels through the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation.  To learn how to help out via credit card, please click here.


Flying the Flag at Clark Lake

Flying the flag at Clark Lake is the all-American thing to do.  Doing it now is easier–and at the same time it can benefit kids projects.  Kiwanis of Brooklyn will place a 3×5 American flag on a 10-foot pole along your roadside on major holidays–Armed Forces Day through Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day thru 9/11 and Veterans Day.

This is a fundraiser for Kiwanis of Brooklyn and the Scout Cabin for boys and girls at Swain’s Park.  The donation is $40 per year per flag and you can enroll by emailing flags@brooklynkiwanismi.com or by calling (517) 938-5178.  There’s still time to have your flag in place for this weekend, if you reach out now.

Thanks to Linda Reynolds for keeping Clark Lake informed on this worthwhile project.

Clark Lake’s Social Season

Clark Lake’s social season for 2017 is underway, and on Thursday (May 25th), it fully engages.  The Ladies Night Out Wine Tasting has become a Clark Lake tradition. It’s when the women of the lake gather, dressed for the occasion and free from the cares of the day.  It is a renewal of friendships, or discovering new ones.  It’s a chance for conversation from the most simple to important things–or even the sharing of secrets. Note:  Only one or two men are allowed, and that only for a short time.  This night is for and about the ladies.

Photos below are from May 2016

How to participate?  Details below.  

To read about the Clark Lake Spirit Trail, click here.


The Neighborhoods of Clark Lake

What unites the people of Clark Lake is each individual’s love of this awesome place, sometimes referred to as “our own paradise.”  In this setting, friendships develop–lifelong, and sometimes involve several generations.  One’s connection to Clark Lake is not a fleeting thing. 

Friendships tend to develop around neighborhoods.  As a kid growing up at the lake, your sphere of friends went as far as your were allowed to travel by boat.  When you became old enough to venture beyond parental perimeters, then your Clark Lake world of friendships grew.  Even so, the lake still has its distinct neighborhoods. Today marked a neighborhood event that has blossomed over the last four years.  The Annual Neighborhood Progressive Dinner is the brainchild of Candy and Steve Wawro.  It includes neighbors who live on the north shore starting south of Pleasant View and extending west to Hyde Road.  Today’s dinner started at the Wawro’s and then “progressed” to the home of Bob and Laurie LaZebnik who live in the house on Kentucky Point.  The photos below were taken in their home. 

Another example of neighbors gathering on a planned basis is the Eagle Point crew.  Sitting at the reserved table at the Pointe, it’s easy to see why this group gets together each Friday night (Thursdays after Memorial Day).  Participants mostly live along Eagle Point, west end, and the Eagle Point cove.  Some are related to each other or became that way through marriages.  Others have known each other as far back as they can remember.  In many cases, their parents and grandparents were also friends.  Below are some recent photos of this group at the Pointe.

And to look back at the 3rd Annual South Woodlands Party,  click here.


Township Park Controversy

The Columbia Township Park at the west end of Clark Lake has been a controversial topic.  At last night’s Township Board meeting, trustees voted to authorize the personnel committee to work with legal counsel and police chief to draft ideas to deal with abuses.  The personnel committee consists of the township supervisor, clerk, and controller.  According to Supervisor Bob Elrod the plan is to “put some teeth in the ordinance.” 

Police Chief David Elwell comments “the ordinance should be revised and modernized.”  He believes most prohibitions should remain in place, but the language of the ordinance should comply with current court requirements.  Ordinance 18 was last voted upon in 1981, and some of that may have been carried forward from earlier versions.  The chief notes “the ultimate goal is to revise the ordinance to reflect the Trustees’ intent and to create a family-friendly atmosphere in the park so that issues that come up in the summer are prevented.”

The group working on revisions may look at regulations and formats in place for Blackman Township and County parks but adapt them for local needs.

As it stands, Township Ordinance 18 governs park activity.  If you peruse it below, you will see that it covers a lot of ground, but apparently falls short of getting the job done in its current form.


Township Board Gets a Weed Update

Clark Lake has declared war on the advance of hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM).  Why? Where left unchecked, HEWM can diminish recreational use of a lake, destroy wildlife habitat, and negatively affect property values.  A majority of Clark Lake lakefront property owners petitioned Columbia Township to establish a special assessment district (SAD) to deal with the problem.  The SAD allows treatment of HEWM wherever it exists in the lake and covers the cost of the project through the property taxes of lakefront landowners.

PLM Lake & Land Management (PLM) has been contracted to treat Clark Lake.  At tonight’s meeting of the Columbia Township board, Trustee Flip Reynolds and Treasurer John Calhoun, both Clark Lake residents, discussed the state of the battle.  In their presentation to the board, John Calhoun and Flip Reynolds described the challenge–Clark Lake’s version of HEWM has not been permanently eradicated by the current product (Renovate).  That has lead PLM to look into other solutions from Sepro, a company that develops treatment products, including a new one called Procellacor.  In this video, John Calhoun starts by reading an email from PLM’s Steve Hanson. Flip Reynolds then follows up.  

To understand the challenge, a chain reaction can happen when Eurasian milfoil enters a lake.  The invader mates with the native plant.  The resulting hybrid mates with other hybrids and native plants.  Or varieties of hybrids travel from lake to lake by boat or other means. Darwinian evolution results in improved sustainability and thus, a greater opportunity to procreate, and become immune to threats like treatment programs.  Take that cycle through several iterations, and you can see the challenge in knocking off an invasive species.

HEWM milfoilDuring the 2016 season, PLM treated about 30 acres of HEWM with Renovate (active ingredient, triclopyr).  According to PLM’s Steve Hanson, “initial results were good, but follow up surveys indicated regrowth of HEWM by summers end.”  Steve noted “these results were concerning to me, as I expected our treatments to have at least season-long effects, if not multiple years.”

At the Township meeting (and in the video), John Calhoun referred to a study performed by Sepro.  To focus treatment on Clark Lake’s version of HEWM, samples were sent to lab for testing.  The Clark Lake plants were exposed to three herbicides—triclopyr, 2,4-D, and Fluridone.  The lab reported the Clark Lake samples were not susceptible to 2,4-D.  Some samples were somewhat vulnerable to triclopyr, while others were not affected.  The labs results showed all Clark Lake HEWM samples were susceptible to Fluridone, a more expensive product. 

Steven Hanson concludes “it is not prudent to continue the triclopyr treatment.”  As noted in the video, PLM suggests a new entry into the field, Procellacor, has promise. Logistical issues prevent its use in 2017, among them the state hasn’t approved it yet. With only four acres of treatment anticipated in 2017, the “savings” could be applied to a more effective program in 2018. 

As more information becomes available, expect updates on this website.



Sunday Sundown

Sunday was a wonderful gift and a taste of what’s ahead as summer approaches.  And the sunset did not disappoint.

Some observations:

Those dark specs are not the result of a dirty lens.  They represent a bumper crop of mayflies.  Scientists say lots of mayflies are a good thing.  It means we have a healthy lake.  It’s also a feeding frenzy.  Turtles pop to the surface to grab them, and fish are gobbling them up.   If gluttony is a sin, Clark Lake’s wildlife are into it, big time!  Mayflies seem harmless enough to humans.  But keeping your mouth closed seems like an appropriate action.  And just because you walked inside, it doesn’t mean the mayflies stayed outside.

The sun sets more to north every evening, illustrating how summer is on the way.  The sun will be in the northernmost position from the equator on June 21st, the summer solstice, also the first day of summer.  Summer ends Friday, September 22nd.  Clark Lakers will enjoy every minute of it–to the fullest!

Ladies Night Out Wine Tasting Almost Here

Once again, Ladies Night Out Wine Tasting is almost here.  

The event takes place Thursday, May 25th from 6:30 pm to 9 pm. With the backdrop of the blue waters of Clark Lake and inside the warm and friendly atmosphere of the Beach Bar, the community’s social season is about to begin. The Ladies Night Out Wine Tasting event is a fund raiser for the benefit of the Clark Lake Spirit Trail.  This will mark the 9th annual gathering.  For a $25 donation, the ladies of Clark Lake will sample hors d’oeuvres, win prizes and renew friendships.  Kelly Petitto and her committee are instrumental in ensuring the success of the event each year.  You can reach Kelly at kellypetitto@comcast.com or at 206-6223.  Space is limited.

The Clark Lake Spirit Trail is a shining example of the Clark Lake Spirit.  It enjoys widespread community support.  It enables cyclists, runners and walkers to circle the approximately 7.3 mile circumference of the lake while taking in a variety of outdoor experiences.  The section that parallels Jefferson Road allows safe passage along that busy highway.  The path through the Magic Forest from Jefferson to Lakeview East is always a refreshing treat.  In other areas, users pass through historic lake icons like Eagle and Kentucky Points and catch diverse views of open water.

View of the lake from the Spirit Trail that runs through the County Park