Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Music · The Sound of Music
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The Sound of Music

Robert Downes - November 22nd, 2010
Sound of Music ;New amphitheatre dovetails with garden & barns project at GT Commons
By Robert Downes
A new 1,000-seat outdoor concert facility at the site of the historic barns of the Grand Traverse Commons could fill the surrounding hills with the sound of music within the next two years.
“We’re very excited about this project, which will combine the efforts of the Botanic Garden Society to create a new 25-acre botanic garden, along with a plan to renovate and restore the cathedral barns at the Grand Traverse Commons,” says Benjamin Marentette, executive director of the Recreational Authority for both the City of Traverse City and Garfield Township.
Marentette has been working on the project known as the Historic Barns Park for the past two-and-a-half years. He says it’s a team effort with three nonprofit players, including the Botanical Garden Society of Northwest Michigan, as well as Little Artshram (which overviews a community garden at the site) and SEEDS, which offers a farmer residency program.
Another key player is concert promoter Sam Porter of Porterhouse Productions, who has taken a pro bono role as an advisor on the creation of an amphitheatre at the intersection of the two 11,500-square-foot barns at the southern end of the Grand Traverse Commons. Porter hopes to bring in big-name national acts for a summer season of outdoor concerts in the years ahead.

TOURIST ATTRACTION
When completed, the Historic Barns Park is expected to have the same sort of allure as Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, a lush sculpture park which also offers a summer concert series, featuring top acts such as Chris Isaak and Willy Nelson.
“Meijer Gardens is a major tourist draw for Grand Rapids and we see the same sort of excitement happening here in Traverse City with the new park,” Marentette says.
He adds that the barns will play a year-round role in the entertainment and cultural mix. Both the Cathedral Barn (built in 1932) and the Historic Barn (1900) have two floors available for multiple uses. These could include symphonic concerts, plays and dance events; a year-round farm market; weddings, expositions and art fairs.
Organizers are preparing a fundraising campaign to raise the $1.5 million needed to launch the Botanic Garden, renovate the barns, and create the amphitheatre. Details on the capital campaign will be announced soon.
So, assuming the fundraising campaign goes well, when could the public begin enjoying their first concerts on the site, or a stroll through the new Botanic Garden?
“We certainly wish for sooner rather than later, but we’re hoping for 2012 or 2013 at the latest.”
 
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