, 2022-07-16 09:09:40,
Mired in public debate and a pending lawsuit, the future of the Greilick Outdoor Recreation and Education Center remains uncertain
By Victor Skinner | July 16, 2022
A proposal to restore and improve former Boy Scout facilities at Camp Greilick southeast of Traverse City is dividing area residents, with some excited about plans to enhance outdoor education programs and others concerned about the scope and potential negative impacts on the quality of life for neighbors and wildlife.
It’s a situation that’s boiled over at East Bay Township meetings in recent months, as a planned use development (PUD) application has faced scrutiny from both the public and elected officials.
Plans for the Greilick Outdoor Recreation and Education Center, known as GOREC, aim to make the 500-acre property financially self-sustaining through a variety of outdoor activities, from day use for disc golf, hiking, biking, skiing, and kayaking on the 250-acre Rennie Lake to wilderness survival classes, large skiing and bike races, and a sprawling campground with both cabin rentals and tent sites.
Most area residents support the outdoor education aspects of the PUD proposal, but the plans also include the creation of a large event center for weddings, retreats, reunions, graduations, and other celebrations, which many believe will irreversibly change the quiet character of the lakeside community.
From Then to Now
The property off Scout Camp Road was purchased by the Rotary Club of Traverse City in 1926, transferred to the affiliated nonprofit Rotary Camps and Services (RCS) in 1955, and exclusively leased to the Boy Scouts from 1955 through 2016. The Rotary struck oil on the site in the 1970s, which has helped the organization to amass a roughly $50 million investment account that funds the Rotary’s charitable work.
But the money doesn’t go to RCS, which manages Camp Greilick and other properties on Bass Lake and East Creek, says Matt McDonough, the executive director for RCS.
When the Boy Scouts requested a release from the lease in 2016, RCS vetted a few proposals from entities interested in taking over Camp Greilick, but “none had a solid enough business plan,” McDonough says. Instead, RCS created its own plan to make the site financially self-sustaining, building on…
To read the original article, go to Click here