Category Archives: Featured News

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!

What’s Up With This Curb-work?

Sample island pieces

New Pedestrian Island Coming to Connect Discovery Center and Discovery Pier

The Discovery Center had discussions for years with the Michigan Department of Transportation to find an effective and affordable way to move pedestrians safely across M-22 to West Bay. Both overpass bridges and underpass tunnels are incredibly expensive, difficult to maintain, and challenging to design to accommodate people with disabilities.

Starting last fall, our conversations with MDOT began to make new inroads on a solution that had been previously proposed by several planners for Elmwood Township. We will install an at-grade crossing that catches the eye of passing motorists and gives pedestrians an island of safe refuge as they cross the two lanes of busy traffic. What’s unique about this island–the first in Michigan–is that is can be removed in the winter to accommodate snow plows.

Safety signOver the next couple of weeks we will install the island with bright yellow edges, crosswalk stripes, and appropriate signs to warn drivers of the pedestrian crossing. The crosswalk itself will be equipped with ramps and tactile detectable warning surfaces. This should make it easier and safer for people of all ages, needs, and abilities to safely cross M-22 between the Discovery Center and Discovery Pier.

Please use the new pedestrian crossing once it is installed–even if it means going a few yards out of your way. It will be safer for everyone and get drivers accustomed to being extra alert around the island.

Discovery Center Driveways Closed to Aid Pedestrians

In order to make all of this work, the Discovery Center will be consolidating access into one main driveway. This may be a small inconvenience for those of you in cars and trucks, but a great improvement in safety for those on foot, riding bikes, or being pushed in a stroller.

Plan drawing of pedestrian island


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.