You are currently reading one of the first posts on Great Lakes Guide — a Guide dedicated to building a connection between you and the water around you. This Guide is an exciting project... and a long time coming.
The Great Lakes are often taken for granted. They are more than just an awe-inspiring ecological wonder to be admired in photos. They are also a resource — a resource that provides you with the water you drink, the water you bath in, the water that touches every aspect of your life. And it’s not just the Lakes themselves. The small rivers, tributaries, creeks: They all connect us to the Lakes and, ultimately, to the oceans.
But the Lakes are even more than just a resource. They are like that dusty, locked attic in your home — the one you never go in and forget it’s even there. But when you do open that attic door, you are immediately faced with pieces of your history (and maybe a bit of dust). What do you feel when you start rummaging through your memories from 10, 15, 20 years ago? And what happens after you leave the attic? Oftentimes, that connection to your history fades until you visit again.
The Great Lakes have been in existence for 14,000 years. They formed during the glacial retreat and eventually grew into a place where First Nations peoples thrived and nurtured the connection between humanity and water. Exploring this history is like visiting your attic. You may forget about it when you’re not there, but when you are there, you’re filled with a yearning and a nostalgia. But unlike your attic, we need to open our collective door to the Great Lakes — and keep it open. Only then will we rekindle our connection with these incredible bodies of water and be reminded of the true impact that they had, and continue to have on our lives.
Why does this matter? It matters because this entire water ecosystem sustains the Great Lakes Region, from the people to the economy. The lakes need to be protected and preserved, and some areas need a little extra help to return to their healthy state.
So why aren't we all fighting for their preservation? Well, not all of us feel connected to the Great Lakes, and that is a big problem. That is why we made this Guide: a Guide designed to help people find new places to visit and new things to do in the Great Lakes Region. If the Great Lakes are the attic, then the Great Lakes Guide is meant to be the key to unlock the door.
It is a work in progress. What you’re seeing as of this posting date is the first version of the website, and we need your help! We’re looking for feedback, comments, and anything that you think is missing, anything you don’t understand, or anything you’d like to see added in the future.
Click here to send your feedback directly to the team. We want you to help make this a platform that will guide future generations to the lakes, help them fall in love with their waters, and become environmental stewards.