We're Rick and Mary!
Mary Hilton was a successful businesswoman and speaker for 20
Her lifelong interest in nature and wildlife led her to qualify for a DNR
permit and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife license. Mary has been raising
baby native species for 30 years. She is available for nature lectures
about the flora and wildlife that inhabit Long Lake Outdoor Center. Her
talks have interested both adults and children.
Would you believe Indigo Blue Milky Mushrooms?
Rick served 4 years in the USAF and 6 years in the Michigan National
Guard. He spent 30 years in the auto industry as an automobile
collision repair technician before opening his own commercial building
and equipment repair business, which he has operated for 7 years. Rick
has the tools, equipment, knowledge and desire to repair and maintain
the camp's infrastructure and buildings. His goal is to make steady
improvements to the camp during the term of his lease, and to let as
many citizens as possible enjoy it. Rick's hobby is model aviation, and
he offers a 3-4 hour program covering the basics of building and flying
model aircraft culminating with the students building and flying a small
glider, and Rick performing a demonstration flight with a radio controlled
seaplane on Long Lake. This program requires advance notice and a
minimal fee is charged to cover the model building material expenses. It
is appropriate for ages 8-adult.
We lease the Long Lake Outdoor Center from the State of Michigan and
operate it as a private business. Like any other private business, the
administrative (insurance, lease fees, taxes etc.), management,
maintenance and repairs are our responsibility. We do not rely on your
tax dollars to run and preserve this camp!
Long Lake Outdoor Center
The U. P. Feeling Only an Hour Away From Home
During the Ice Age, glaciers covered all of Michigan. When they receded
they left a unique landscape, particularly in southern Michigan. Yankee
Springs was very heavily carved by the glaciers leaving this area with a
sandy soil, many hills and lakes and interesting formations such as the
Devil's Soup Bowl.
Native Americans discovered the area and revered its abundant fishing and
hunting opportunities. Although there was no permanent settlement here,
many tribes, such as the Ottawa, Ojibway and Pottawatomi, shared the area
for food gathering.
Yankee Springs was opened to settlement in the 1830s. Because of its
beauty, many lakes and abundant game, many made their homes here and
began farming the land. However, due to the farming practices of the time
and the poor soil in the area, by the 1930s farms were failing and the land
was extremely eroded.
Under the Land Acquisition Act of 1932, people were given the chance to
sell, lease or trade their property to the government. To many people living in
depressed areas, this afforded them the opportunity to relocate or
supplement their income by turning all or part of their holdings over. Yankee
Springs was one of those depressed areas and many residents gave up their
land to the government to resettle. Job opportunities in the automobile
industry allowed many to relocate to other cities and allowed the government
to begin reclamation and restoration of the land. Areas such as Yankee
Springs presented unique opportunities.
Long Lake Outdoor Center History