Author Archives: Mike Wills

Fishing Pier Open to Public!

Let’s Go Fishing!

The Discovery Pier can’t be beat for fishing opportunities in West Grand Traverse Bay. Deep water right off the Pier provides access to many species: Lake and Brown Trout, Salmon, Northern Pike, Bass, Perch and panfish. Picnic tables and benches make it a great place to take the kids. There’s even parking and a porta-john on the Pier, plus a bunch of tall ships and the Greilickville Harbor Park right next door with a beach and playground. Open Dawn to Dusk from May thru October.

Discovery Pier provides public access to our Bay, thanks to Rotary of Traverse City!

Pedestrian Crossing Deployed

Early this morning a team from Molon Excavating reinstalled the pedestrian crossing island in the center of M 22, just in time for the busy memorial weekend. We are grateful that they fit this into their very busy schedule.


Attending the National Working Waterfronts Conference highlighted how close the coal dock came to being lost to private development. It could easily have been sold by the City and TCLP for a LOT of money to a single person or entity for a mansion/megayacht or condo development. Instead, thanks to Rotary, it has been preserved as a working waterfront. It is already the home to the largest fleet of tall ships in the Great Lakes. Ships that have few places that accommodate them.

But the greatest benefit is that we are connecting people to water through history, recreation, education and stewardship. Because, we believe, as Jacques Yves Cousteau said, “people protect what they love”.

We are excited and anxious to begin transforming the coal dock into our vision for a premier waterfront center with lots of ways for people to forge connections with our waters.

Ship Shape Exhibit To Add USCG Icebreaker Model

USCG Icebreaker Model

USCG in Exhibit





Wheelhouse From Aft

Icebreaker From Bow

Plans are taking shape for the USCG icebreaker model addition to the Ship Shapes exhibit in the courtyard. This phase of the exhibit is a tribute to the Coast Guard and the important role they play in keeping our Great Lakes safe. Fundraising is under way and volunteers will be organizing to begin building the model in mid-June. To volunteer or donate, contact Mike Wills at 231-922-3000 or

How cool would it be If the cruise ship you see in the Center background were to tie up at Discovery Pier?

Maybe some day they will!

Traffic Calming

Workers from Team Elmer’s and Kent companies are pouring the curb and gutter and pedestrian crossing ramps today. Please slow down and give ’em a brake. 

New Life

This turtle “Parked” herself in the parking lot back by the creek to lay her eggs. Please don’t disturb her.

Sails Up!

Quantum LogoA huge shout-out to Quantum Sails for the donation of a set of custom net sails for the O’Day Mariner in the Ship Shapes Exhibit. Made from an open weave fabric, the intent is to let the wind blow through the sails so we can leave them up at all times. Kids are going to have a blast climbing around on this boat and pulling on the “strings” to set off on imaginary adventures!