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Notebook : Into the Great Lakes from the 9th to the 23rd of jully 2022

We are a group of 10 participants and 2 educators who belong to the Water watch program. We gonna do a trip around the Michigan lake, passing by the south of Superior lake and through the Mackinac passage. Our goals is to understand the value of the great lakes, to meet some actors of the the preservation of theirs habitats, and take a part in their conservation. Voir descriptif détaillé

Notebook : Into the Great Lakes from the 9th to the 23rd of jully 2022

We are a group of 10 participants and 2 educators who belong to the Water watch program. We gonna do a trip around the Michigan lake, passing by the south of Superior lake and through the Mackinac passage. Our goals is to understand the value of the great lakes, to meet some actors of the the preservation of theirs habitats, and take a part in their conservation. Voir descriptif détaillé

Accueil > Nos Actions > Journal de Bord des Opérations > Notebook : Into the Great Lakes from the 9th to the 23rd of jully 2022

Saturday 9th of July

To not miss any picture of this trip, here is the link

Everybody arrived safe and sound in the other side of the Atlantic sea :

First Gabriel and Raphael

And then Carla ,Sasha, Fleur, Blanche, Lucie, Cécile, Angèle and Célia
However not all the luggages arrived, so Sasha Blanche and Fleur with the company of Lucy went shopping to buy the essentials needs until the luggages arrive !

The evening we did a dinner made on the fire , hot dog made from regular meat sausages and plant based one, with fire cooked corncorbs.
As the jetlag came with the participants, we all went to sleep after this.
Tomorrow we gonna visit Chicago !

Sunday 10th

Today Carla and Sacha wrote some part of the diary :
« Today we visited Chicago » we have been in the parks close the city center and discover this interesting monument called « The bean ».

Then « We walked alongside the River of Chicago. We learned than Chicago’s habitants reversed the stream to limit the pollution of the lake. » We saw how the bridges can let the boats pass.

We visited the McCormick and Chicago river museum where we can see the counterweight of the bridge and saw which kind of species can live among the Chicago river system.

We learnt some new English words and got our first impression about the American lifestyle. The big Chicagoans skyscrapers were very impressive for us .

« We ate in the park » with a beautiful view on the Michigan lake..
« After we went to a beach and some of us took a bath » as we were wondering if the water was salty or not. Result : despite the fact we don’t see the other side of the lake, it’s freshwater !
After have been walking for a while in the city center and « the loop ». We « Finally
came back to the camping »
We cooked all together, and got a fantastic dinner. We finished by a gathering around the fire and went to sleep as tomorrow gonna be another big day

Monday 11th

Today Fleur and Gabriel have wrote the notebook ;
"On the morning we packed the stuffs very quickly after the breakfast. It was raining so we went to a shelter and we thought about all the places we can find water and how do we use it.

We learned that there was more than 97% of salt water !!

AFter this brainstorming, we went to Chicago again to visit the biggest water purification plant of the world.

It was interesting. After we ate taboulet and it was delicious. We drove the car to go to Sheboygan.

We met Ben’s friends and we took again the car to go to the camp. We ate very good pasta and then we did the « yes we liked the day or not »".

Tuesday 12th

Today Angele and Sasha wrote the notebook
"Road to Marquette
First before to leave the campsite Max gave us the tasks for the killer game« (a game we gonna play during the trip) ». Then we took the time to watch the boulder lake and do some meditation. We also start to understand how the water can be polluted and how we could do to see that. We also saw nice birds flying around.

After this calm moment we took the car to go to market. For lunch we stopped at the restaurant. There we tasted the real American food composed of cola burger and chips.

Meanwhile we were driving we passed through pretty villages. We stopped at wood creek to start the scientific project. We searched for larvaes of insects in the river to know the quality of the water. We found a lot of interesting things and we also did some pH tests and some nitrates and phosphates one as well.

Finally we arrived at the campsite for dinner. And we finished as a desert by Marshmallows and chocolate melted in the fire."

Wednesday 13th

« After the breakfast, we left to go on pavillon Beach. We have collected the trash with the association »Alliance for Great Lake".

After that, we ate Bagel and we played mime games. We made differents samples of the lake superior. We analysed it, we tested the pH, phosphates , amonium, nitrates, nitrites and oxygen as well as the temperature and the conductimetry.

Then we went in front on the lake to see the beautiful landscape and we met someone who talk us about some legend on the lake.
Finally, we saw a waterfall : this place was impressive.

After dinner we sang « la vie en rose » with our neighbor. We finish with a game of werewolf around the fire."

Cécile and Célia

Thursday 14th

Today Lucy and blanche wrote the following :

"July 14th.
This morning we have started up the day a bit later than the other days. We visited the wastewater plant first : we saw all the steps to make the dirty water clean in order to put it back into the river and the lake.

Then we visited the purification water treatment plant where the water is purificated to be drinkable by the customers.

We ate at the camping a delicious meal, which was wraps with vegetables and chicken. During the afternoon we went by car to Sugarloaf mountain.

So we had a beautiful view of the lake. After that we went the beach and swam even if it was pretty cold. Tonight we have played « werewolf »."

Friday 15th

Today Carla and Rafa wrote the notebook :

Today, we woke up with a good mood. We did some sampling of the dead river. After the lunch, we visited the city of maquette, we took the advantage to buy some souvenirs
and visited a gallery of picture of sunrises on the great lakes.

Then on the for the next campsite we stop on Munnising.
We met the ranger and we learn about invasive species. We also saw a short movie about picture rock. A natural park here we gonna go soon and then we took an ice cream.

We moved to another campground and we swam on the lake to relax and to take a shower. To finish the day we took the diner and have discussion next to the fire. Another incredible day !

Saturday 16th

Today we took the car to go for a walk in a hemlock tree forest. We learnt about how the old civilization used the lake and we saw a snake eating a toad.

Then we went to a peninsula in the north of lake Michigan. We met someone who told us more about fossils and the monarch butterfly. We even found some fossils on the beach. For lunch we ate a very nice tabouleh took a bath and did the analyse of the water.

Then we have visited a wetland, a very good place to filter the water naturally. After that we took a bath in the lake of the camping got dinner and huge marshmallow roast in the fire.

And we will finish the day by a movie about the great lakes.

Sunday 17th

Today was our chill day.
This morning we got some pancakes !!

We voted for the best picture from our picture championship than we did in Chicago. Blanche and Cécile finish 1st together !
We played exploding kittens meanwhile the others went for a swim.
During lunch we spoke a lot and then a team went to do some groceries meanwhile the rest of the group did a championship of games. After that we went to the beach and spoke to some locals.
We finished the day with a burger and a cake made in the fire.

Monday 18th

On this Monday we went to picture rock national park.
We did a walk alongside four lakes, superior lake, beaver lake , little beaver lake and trapper lake and saw a nice waterfall. We will compare the quality of their water on tomorrow as we took only the sample for now. We walked more than 15km but it was a super wonderful landscape and we swam again in the huge superior lake. It’s kind of impressive to think than we swim in the biggest lake (in surface) of the world.

After that we chilled a bit in Munising and got back to the camping
The group has a very good cohesion in the overall. They are very funny. Interested and often try to speak with the locals. They are getting better and better in the organization of the camp life too !

Tuesday 19th

Today we moved from the camp to another one ! We started to analyse the samples we did the day before and the results were pretty good. On the way we stopped by the Picture rock national park to see the cliffs. We enjoyed to do the biotic index of the mosquito river and found new species than we didn’t find last time.

This river had a good quality and the landscape was wonderful. We saw the famous coves and the immensity of the lake.

We said goodbye to Superior lake to see again the Michigan lake in the way to the new camp. It’s a nice campsite with a lake alongside.
We can now enjoy it with a karaoke night !

Wednesday 20th

On this Wednesday we did a lil game on the effect and cause of water pollution.
Some people had the effects some people had the causes and they had to find each other to form the matching pair.
After that we try to find a way to purify the water from the brevoort lake.
We start by the aeration and the decantation/sedimentation and also try to see the phenomenon of absorption of the pollution by the plants than occur in the wetland. To see that we put some celery on a food colored water.
After that we went to see an other great lake ! The Huron lake !
On the way back it started to rain so we enjoyed to take a quiet moment / little nap at the campgroung. Then, we finished to purify the water. We did as we saw at the jardin purification water plant. We put some sand in a bottle, than we cut previously as a funnel.
At the end we put bigger rock and a coffee filter to avoid the sand to fall down. In our experience we had to filter the water several times and clean the sand several times to find a satisfying result. We succeed to have significant results : the level of nitrates and phosphates decreased compared to the water non filtered and the coloration decreased too and the water was almost clear (we put food color at the beginning).
Some people tried to evaporate and condensate the water to have a pure water, and even if the technique needs to be improved, the water was indeed better.
Nature purify water very well. So why don’t we imitate it !

We also analysed the Huron lake water and the quality was quiet good. After that we did a match of Peteca (a traditional brazilian game).

We got dinner and our traditional talk around the fire to conclude the day.

Thursday 21st

On this Thursday we changed camps and start to go towards Chicago. On the way we met Liz, a lawyer from an organization called FLOW (for love of water).

She spoke about the cases she is involved to protect the great lakes and their environment. Like nestle for exemple. She spoke a lot about the way to protect the lakes, the power of the lobbies, and why the lakes are very sensitive and important for the locals. After that, we went to Sleeping bear dunes national park. A place next to the Michigan lake full of dunes and where some of us went to swim.
Then, it was getting late so we stopped by a local pub to eat in a local way. There wasn’t a better way to discover the culture and meet the locals, we spoke with them, and even dance as we controlled the jukebox, they even offered us some t shirt.

After this nice evening we went to sleep in one of the nicest campsite : « Bowman bridge campsite ».

Friday 22nd

Today we went to visit the botanical/sculpture gardens in Grand rapid. We saw nice gardens tropical, japanese. We met Maddy, someone who have been used to work with OSI. We did a lil retransmission to her and she guided a tour for us.

We saw plants from everywhere in the world. And obviously we saw a lot of sculpture too.

We also passed by a wetland, we saw plenty of turtles, heron, frogs and so on...
After that we went to Chicago to finally have the surprise we are waiting for !

A baseball game, they really enjoyed it and we got the opportunity to see fireworks !

This night was full of lightnings, to make the last night very special.

Saturday 23rd

After a pancake morning, we spoke about what we did and our feeling about it during those last 2 weeks.

They go back to France full of good memories, with some new English language skills, knowledge about water, and hopefully more independent and autonomous ! Despite the horsefly and the mosquitoes we had a great trip with the group.
We wish them all the best in the future.
They’re are now in the planes probably sleeping hard !


Hey hey ! hope everyone is doing well !

Here is the Video of a compil of random moments with the participants.
A new one gonna be relased soon with the videos from the drone !
Some picture of the trip gonna also be updated in here

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