Clark Lake’s Christmas Spirit

With the first significant snowfall of the season, Clark Lake also witnessed the beginnings of the holiday season.  Michael McCarthy had the right idea for his Hobie. 


And Christmas will be all the merrier on Lakeview West.


The Pineapple Reigns Again

And it’s decorated for Christmas!


You may recall the pineapple was a Clark Lake visual icon, standing on top of a north shore hill, west end, where it reigned for the last ten years.  For anyone driving around the lake by car or viewing the shoreline from the lake, it was hard to miss.  Terry Cones Luedecking and her husband, Bob, acquired the pineapple as part of a fundraiser.  “It was built specifically to be auctioned at Rosemary Beach, Florida, to raise for money for a children’s charity” Terry recounts.  The couple purchased it there, and hired a flatbed truck/trailer to bring it back to Michigan.  Not surprising because of its size, says Terry, “it was an ordeal!”

Bill Bendele's crew on moving day

Bill Bendele’s crew on moving day

When it was time for the Luedecking’s to say goodbye to the Pineapple, Tom Petitto stepped in.  Tom says that he had been looking for something for “kids to enjoy” while their parents enjoy their time at the Artesian Wells Tavern.  And that’s where it is today–dressed up for the season.  

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What’s inside?  Terry reveals the surroundings–“a sandbox…and walls are painted to look like its underwater–the pineapple under the sea.” 

So after a period of being in storage, it’s once again a great playhouse for kids.

The Big Chill

The 2017 Polar Plunge takes place Saturday, January 28th.  As in previous years, participants will take the plunge into the icy waters of Clark Lake from the marina dock at Eagle Point.


Halloween or Raft-O-Rama are not the only occasions for costumes at Clark Lake.  The plungers show their creativity in the parade of costumes at 10 am.  The really big chill for them commences at 10:15 am as each team takes its turn jumping into the hole in the ice.  The awards and After Splash Bash begins immediately following the last plunger at the Pointe Bar and Grill.

Thanks to Carl Nochel, Dan Omo, and Jessica Tucker, you can review last year’s event by clicking here.

Dan Omo

The Polar Plunge is a Law Enforcement Torch Run event.  There will be 25 Plunges in Michigan in 2017.  These events provide important support for Special Olympics.  Interested in taking the plunge?  Click here.

Christmas Ornament Exchange 2016

The season is here, and time for an annual Clark Lake event that celebrates it.  The Ladies Christmas Ornament Exchange starts at 6:30 pm on Thursday, December 8th at the Beach Bar.

Ily Lyke, Cheryl Beer, Peggy Collins, Dotty Karkheck and others like them are credited with starting this Clark Lake tradition.  The event will again collect for a local, needy family.

The group invites you to bring a wrapped Christmas ornament valued at $10 if you wish to exchange. 

Last year’s event was well attended and full of the Christmas spirit as you can see.

Check out the poster below for more information.


More Clark Lake Gift Ideas

Make no mistake.  ‘Tis the season–so here are some terrific gift giving ideas for those who love Clark Lake.  Look no further than Doyle’s on Hyde Road for a wide assortment.  In many cases, proceeds support our community organizations.

shirts ps

Towels $35
Hats $16
R-O-R t-shirts $15
Calendars $10
Clark Lake postcards $1
Bumper stickers $6


Spirit Trail – Beerfest
Glasses $5
T-shirts $10

Clark Lake Community Center
Red wine glasses $12 (only 8 left)
Wine decanters $50 (only 2 left)


T-shirts $14
Koozies $1



Clark Lake, Images of a Michigan Tradition
by Ted Ligibel $15


The Clams Are Still Baking
by Bill Leutz $15


Minnie’s Potatoes
by Laurie LaZebnik $15


The Atomic Sailor
by Laurie LaZebnik $15   

Community Center’s Gift Idea

The holiday gift giving season is in full swing, and the Clark Lake Community Center has a suggestion.  Their latest offering is now available–exclusive red wine glasses. 


Previously, the Center featured white wine glasses.  The difference?  The Wine Enthusiast site tells the story: “Typically Red wine glasses will be a bit taller and have a larger bowl than White wine glasses. In general Reds are bigger and bolder wines so they require a larger glass to allow all those aromas and flavors to emerge.”  But no one will stop you from using these glasses for either.

More importantly, the glasses are inscribed with the name of our favorite place–Clark Lake.  And with the purchase of each glass, you are helping to support the Clark Lake Community Center.  The glasses are $12 each, and you can find them at Doyle’s.  With the holidays approaching, strong demand is expected.  Supplies are limited.


There is a lot to keeping the Clark Lake Community Center looking great and available for the use of the community.  Repairs, maintenance, and improvements are a constant concern. This kind of work is supported by fund raisers, as with the wine glasses.  And there are those who underwrite needs in other ways.  For example, this fall Mike McKay’s company, M-R Builders, repaired the soffits. “Critters try to make this home their home by boring holes into vulnerable areas” according the Community Center Treasurer John Deming.  “It doesn’t take much room for a critter to move in.”  Mike McKay noted “wood filler plugs will keep the house tight.” In the photo, Jim Roberts is sanding areas to be repainted.

dsc_1179_1126Above, a view of the lake from the porch of the Community Center.  The landscaping around the building is the work of the Clark Lake Garden Angels.


west-endA resident at the west end of the lake, who also contributed sonics of his own, observed that the explosions heard last night were fireworks.  According to him, the fireworks were set off  to the west of the lake and “went on for about an hour.”

A check with Columbia Township Police revealed no other cause. 

Invasive Species Battle Report

Clark Lake’s attack on hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM) continues.  In lakes where the spread of this invasive species was not checked, it curtailed recreational use, destroyed natural habitat, and hurt property values.  To defend the lake against this threat, a group of local residents formed the Clark Lake Invasive Species Committee.  Ninety-five percent of the lake front property owners contacted by the Committee signed a petition to establish a special assessment district (SAD) to treat the lake.  The Committee recommended to Columbia Township that Professional Lake Management (PLM) be employed for this project. Committee Chairman John Deming remarks “they are very familiar with the challenges in our region and have a terrific track record.”  The Township pays for the program via an annual assessment on lake front property owners which amounted to $64 per parcel in the first year.   Early this summer, for the first time, this treatment program treated HEWM wherever found in the lake.


This fall PLM conducted a follow up survey to determine the success of the program.  The amount of HEWM observed in Clark Lake was about 20% less than last year.  John Deming comments “HEWM spreads wildly.  Without the treatment program, we would not be seeing a decrease in HEWM.  Instead, there would be a whole lot more.”  That’s a sign of progress, but PLM’s Steve Hanson comments “although initial results were good, grow back during the late summer months and fall occurred.” 

Historically, Eurasian milfoil is quickly knocked out by treatment and may not reappear for a long time. So why was the reduction limited to 20%?  Hybrids, the combination of the Eurasian milfoil and native plants, are not as susceptible to treatment.  Hanson continues “Hybrid milfoil is notorious for its ability to recover from treatment and grow at rates much faster than Eurasian water milfoil.”

What’s the solution?

Steve Hanson’s evaluation called for using different treatment products, but not leave the decision to guesswork.  PLM took HEWM samples from the lake recently and sent them to a lab for testing–“the HEWM is cultured and exposed to three common active ingredients at a range of concentrations.”  Based on the findings, PLM will develop precision plans for Clark Lake for summer 2017. Any products they use must be certified by permit through the DEQ and EPA.

The lab tests cost $2500.  John Deming thinks “this could save us money.”  He says “by experimenting in the lab, we can be assured we’ll get the most effective treatment available. We won’t be losing the race against time, nor will we be blanketing the lake with less effective treatment product, and wasting our tax dollars.”

Here are survey results for fall 2016.  The key metric is on line #1 Eurasian water milfoil, far right column.  A smaller number is better.  The comparative chart for 2015 is found below the 2016 chart. 

Clark Lake AVAS Sept. 2016.xlsxHere is the same chart from 2015:


Storm Blast at Clark Lake

This fall’s remarkable warm weather changed in a flash, an almost instant change of season.  The weekend storm left thousands without power in Jackson County.  Many at Clark Lake had no Comcast service for an extended period.

Trees contributed to the storm scene as you can see in Bill Leutz’s photo taken about 1 pm Saturday at the County Park.


The wind was severe. Like others, Frank Hones, on Lakeview West, stacks his dock pieces at the front of his house. The storm’s blast knocked “two sections off the stack…only the second time in 15 years.”


Consumers Energy outage map showed power out along the north shore at the west end, and at the east end of the lake.  That took that DamCam out of service for a time.  Now it’s back up and illustrates the chilly turn the weather as taken.


As noted on this website yesterday, Consumers Energy tracks power outages.  Here’s the link to keep in your cell phone for future reference.  

Also on the CE website is a warning regarding downed power lines.  Here it is.

Big Storm

From unseasonably warm to snow in the air in a flash!  Last night a severe storm rolled over the lake that included lots of lightning and high winds.  One observer saw snow in the air this morning. 

As of 9 am, electrical power is out in some sections of the lake, mostly the east end (see Consumers Energy outage map).  Comcast’s internet and cable service is also out in some areas of the lake.

The aftermath of the storm left its mark.  There are large branches down apparently sheered by the high winds.  One report indicated 70 mph at the airport.