Welcome image
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 Memorium:

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.

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting at the Library: Skeptical Medicine with Dr. John Byrne

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, August 12, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Dr. John Byrne, a doctor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Warren, Michigan, who will talk about quackery and pseudoscience in healthcare.

    Dr. Byrne’s website, Skeptical Medicine, tackles many issues related to critical thinking in the medical field. For example, which, if any, “alternative” medical treatments have any basis in science? Why do people pursue treatments that haven’t been proven to work? What is “Integrative Medicine” and how does it promote unproven practices such as homeopathy and reiki? What exactly is the “placebo effect”?

    Hear about all this and more at our monthly meeting with the Grand Traverse Humanists on August 12th at 7:00 in the Traverse Area District Library Woodmere Branch.

  • Meeting at the Library: Dr. David Martin

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, July 8, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present Dr. David Martin, infectious disease specialist for Munson Medical Center, who will talk about food safety and how to avoid food poisoning.


  • Meeting at the Library: Katie Grzesiak

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, June 10, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present a program on native and invasive plants by Katie Grzesiak, coordinator of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network.

    The ISN’s mission is to protect, enhance, and promote northwest Michigan’s natural communities through terrestrial invasive plant management and outreach. ISN is essentially a “think tank” of anyone working with terrestrial invasive plants (and some wetland invaders). ISN shares information, expertise, and resources among partners. They work to educate the public about invasive species and prevent new invasions through workbees, presentations, and Go Beyond Beauty (a program that provides positive recognition to garden professionals and others who exemplify business and landscaping practices that benefit and protect our region’s natural areas).

    Katie is originally from DeWitt, Michigan (near Lansing), but she would rather talk with you about the time she has spent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Ecology, and worked for the National Parks Service at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on invasive species management for three summers.

    Katie went on to incorporate this employment into her study for a Master of Science at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. During this time, she worked with the NPS for an additional two summers to complete research for her Master’s thesis: continuing a long-term study on the effects of herbicides on spotted knapweed and native plant communities.


  • Humanist Paddle on the Cedar River

    8957 Kasson St., Cedar
    Sunday, June 16, 11:00 a.m.

    Join the Grand Traverse Humanists as we paddle the beautiful Cedar River, aka Victoria Creek! This is an easy trip appropriate for all skill levels. You can use a kayak or canoe, but not tubes (they’re too slow). Paddle boards would be acceptable, but you may not be able to keep up with those with kayaks/canoes.

    The river has no current, so this will be an out and back paddle. No shuttle required, as we’ll paddle out and return the same way. It will be up to participants to decide how far they want to go. If you paddle all the way to Lake Leelanau and back, it’s a 7.2 mile round trip. Those who make it to Lake Leelanau will be able to take a short side trip to a “secret” lake!

    This river runs through the Leelanau Conservancy’s Cedar River Preserve. More info here: https://leelanauconservancy.org/naturalarea/cedar-river-natural-area/

    We’ll meet at the launch site at 11 AM. The launch is in Cedar in a parking lot off Kasson St. (the main street going through Cedar). On the north side of the river, turn into the parking lot with the American Waste recycling dumpsters. More info at our Facebook event posting: https://www.facebook.com/events/2340724672808344/

    Email Linnaea at lmelcarek@gmail.com to RSVP. Hope to see you on the river! 

  • Meeting at the Library: Ross Hammersley

    Traverse Area District Library, 610 Woodmere Avenue
    Monday, May 13, 7 p.m.

    Grand Traverse Humanists present environmental attorney Ross Hammersley, who will talk about the major state and regional environmental issues of the past several decades, as well as current issues.

    Ross is a partner with the Traverse City firm Olson, Bzdok & Howard, specializing in environmental, real estate, and municipal law. He assists clients with land use & zoning matters; natural resource conservation; wetlands regulations; water law & riparian disputes; municipal law & local governmental matters; real estate and corporate transactions; condominium associations; nonprofit organizations; energy policy and utilities regulations; oil & gas leasing, extraction, and transmission issues; and the rehabilitation of contaminated Brownfield properties. Ross’ practice involves litigation, appeals, and administrative hearings throughout the state, as well as mediation, negotiations, and transactional matters.

  • Humanist Book Club: Sapiens

    May 19, 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Mark and Heather’s house, 7670 E. Shore Rd., Traverse City

    We’ll gather at a location to be determined to discuss Yuval Noah Harari’s book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.” We’ll share a potluck dinner as well. RSVP to Heather at 503-422-6515.

    More information about the book can be found on our Book Club page here: