Welcome to the Grand Traverse Humanists. If you value science, reason, and compassion and believe that humans are responsible for their own destiny, you have come to the right place. We are a community for the non-religious in the Grand Traverse area, offering a forum for discussing and advancing a secular worldview based on our common humanity. Our programs include monthly speakers and discussions, film and book groups, and various volunteer and social events. All are free and open to the public. Check out Upcoming Events below, or click on the calendar. Nontheists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, humanists, and more…we welcome you to join us!
Please note: MEETINGS AT THE LIBRARY ARE TEMPORARILY ON HOLD. We are meeting outside in person when possible, and on Zoom as schedules allow. Check the Upcoming Events below for details.
In the last six months, four of our fellow Grand Traverse Humanists have died. We are saddened by the loss of Ed Rom, Walter Foote, Mark Gustafson, and Gordon Grimm. Let us remember them well.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Lower Boardman Plan
Monday, September 13, 6:30 p.m.
TCF Bank parking lot (former Chemical Bank), 203 S. Union St., Traverse City
Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for a guided walking tour of the lower Boardman and learn about plans to develop a comprehensive plan for the 1.6 miles of river that meanders through downtown Traverse City.
The Lower Boardman Leadership Team has recently developed preliminary recommendations around zoning regulations and land use, public access, capital improvements and habitat management. Once implemented, the Lower Boardman River will – for the first time – have a plan with a cohesive vision for the river corridor. The leadership team is now reaching out to the community for feedback, comments and suggestions. More information available here: https://dda.downtowntc.com/lower-boardman-river-unified…/
The tour will be conducted by Harry Burkholder, Chief Operations Officer for the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority. Prior to working with the DDA, Harry served as executive director of the Land Information Access Association. He also serves on the boards for Paddle Antrim and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance.
We will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the TCF Bank parking lot (formerly Chemical Bank) on Union Street, across from the Post Office.
- Humanists Ride on the Betsie Valley Trail
Sunday, July 18, 11 a.m.
Beulah Trailhead and Visitor Center (at Prospect and Crystal Ave.)
Join the Grand Traverse Humanists as they bike on the Betsie Valley Trail from Beulah to Frankfort and back, a round trip of 20 miles on flat, mostly paved terrain (3 miles of trail is crushed aggregate, so skinny-tired road bikes may not be ideal for this trip). We’ll have lunch in Frankfort before heading back, perhaps at Stormcloud Brewing Co. Meet at 11:00 at the Beulah trailhead and visitor center, located at a renovated train depot building right in downtown Beulah, at the corner of Prospect Ave. and Crystal Ave.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Norte with Ty Schmidt
Monday, July 12, 7 p.m.
Norte Clubhouse at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center
1213 W. Civic Center Dr., Traverse City
Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for a walking and optional biking tour with Ty Schmidt of Norte! We’ll gather at Norte’s clubhouse at the Grand Traverse Civic Center (a small building near the playground at the south end of the park).
Ty will take us on a 45 minute walking tour of the park to learn more about Norte’s work on the recently approved Civic Center master plan which features a new Bike Education Center. There will be an optional “slow roll” bike ride at 7:45 to see some of the new Safe Routes To School infrastructure being built in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Norte’s mission is to build stronger, better connected, and more walk/bike-friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart. Norte is raising awareness and promoting best practice infrastructure, progressive policies, and people-first design that advances complete streets, traffic calming, and more equitable access to encourage a happier, healthier and stronger community.
- G.T. Humanists Bike Ride to Suttons Bay
Sunday, June 13, 11 a.m.
Darrow Park, Bay Street, Traverse City
We’ll meet at Darrow Park to ride up the Leelanau Trail to Suttons Bay, where we’ll have lunch and then ride back to town. Those who only wish to bike one-way have the option of taking the BATA bus back.
- G.T. Humanist Paddle on Pickerel Creek
Saturday, June 19, 2 p.m.
Grass Lake State Forest Campground
Join the Grand Traverse Humanists for a paddle trip up the little-known Betsie River tributary of Pickerel Creek! This creek is a particular favorite of the trip leader, Linnaea–it’s a beautiful area and feels very remote. The launch is located at Grass Lake Campground. Details here: https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/details.aspx…
The creek has no current to speak of, so this will be an out and back paddle. No shuttle required, as we’ll paddle out and return the same way. To paddle the full distance, at one point it will be required to get out of your boat to get over a beaver dam. Linnaea will assist anyone that needs help. Those who do not wish to go over the dam can turn around at this point and could also explore the nearby Grass Lake.
A few pointers and safety tips are always good to keep in mind:
*Bring water, a change of clothes in a dry sack, sunscreen, a snack or sack lunch, and appropriate, securely fastened footwear that you don’t mind getting wet. Flip flops not recommended, and bare feet are unacceptable.
*Bring your PFD/flotation device. Even if you don’t wear it, you’ll need to have one with you.
*Children and dogs are welcome, but must be controlled. There is a lot of wildlife on this waterway, and we don’t want to disturb it any more than necessary!
*Don’t forget your paddle (and kayak/canoe)!
*MOST IMPORTANTLY: THERE’S NOWHERE TO STOP ON THIS RIVER! Therefore there is nowhere to get out and go to the bathroom! Plan accordingly. There is an outhouse at the launch site.
We’ll meet at the launch site at 2 PM. The launch is at the far east end of the campground.
Email Linnaea at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
- G.T. Humanists Meeting: Great Lakes, Protection vs. Profit
Monday, June 14, 7 p.m.
7670 East Shore Rd., Traverse City
Barb Stamiris will present a program on the Line 5 oil pipeline (which runs through the Straits of Mackinac) and discuss why many believe it should be shut down.
Governor Whitmer has recently filed a lawsuit ordering a shutdown of Line 5. Her recent opinion piece for the Washington Post can be read here:
Barb became an environmental activist in the 1980s when she realized that her home was within a 10 mile radius of the Midland nuclear plant under construction. In 1984 she testified before Congress about problems with the plant, which never opened and was instead converted into a gas-fired steam recovery power plant.
A retired teacher, Barb now focuses on Line 5 as member of the oilandwatererdontmix.org Steering Committee and works with FLOW (For Love of Water). She is a board member of NMI Environmental Action Council and Leelanau League of Women Voters.
This meeting will take place in person at Mark Elliott and Heather Kingham’s back patio. They ask that you please be vaccinated if you decide to attend. In case of rain, it will happen as a virtual Zoom meeting.