“Grand Haven was probably the most well-represented community on the Great Lakes” at the conference, City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
Officials heard about lighthouse ownership, maintenance and management — which are beneficial to the community given the city’s impending ownership and preservation of the Grand Haven lighthouses. The local Lighthouse Conversancy group is entering into the first phase of preserving the lights and fundraising for their future.
Joy Gaasch, president of the Grand Haven-area Chamber of Commerce, said she was impressed with the wealth of information at the conference.
“To hear from others who’ve preserved lighthouses around the Great Lakes was absolutely phenomenal,” Gaasch said. “... It’s all part of Michigan’s maritime history, and tying into that history is important.”
Topics included lighthouse preservation, Fresnel lens restoration and historic lighthouse projects across the state, as well as information on the Michigan Lighthouse Fund and available grants.
McGinnis said it was important to get as much information as possible about lighthouse ownership prior to taking control of them later this year.
“The public is going to own them, so that means we are all in this together,” he said. “From the city’s perspective, we want to be a good owner, but don’t want to get in the way of preservation efforts.”
To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.