NORTHPORT — It was a day a year in the making.
About 300 people descended on Leelanau State Park — home of the Grand Traverse Lighthouse — Tuesday to clean, paint and build.
In a matter of hours, the lighthouse, oil house and gift shop were painted; shelves were built and historic artifacts were packed to transport to a new building; a playground was installed; an Americans with Disabilities Act trail was cleaned, a post and rope system installed and turned into an all-persons trail; and various other projects were accomplished.
“I’m in awe of what they did in one day,” said Stefanie Staley, executive director of both the Grand Traverse Lighthouse Museum and the Friends of Leelanau State Park. “I’m excited. I am very thankful. There’s no way we could have done what we did.”
It would have taken years of planning, fundraising for supplies and recruiting volunteers otherwise, Staley said.
The massive project was organized by Michigan Cares for Tourism — a 100 percent volunteer, 100 percent give-back partnership between Michigan tourism organizations spearheaded by Grand Valley State University faculty that works to help restore historic, natural and cultural attractions in the state.
Staley and a Michigan Department of Natural Resources representative went to MC4T’s 2018 project in Copper Harbor.
“From the moment we left, we’ve been planning for the event this year,” Staley