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Up North Lowdown, Ep. 14: Cherries, boats, forests and jets

Clockwise, from top: The crew of the Michigan DNR research vessel Steelhead, Interlochen Arts Academy teacher Mary Ellen Newport, and a cherry waiting for harvest. (Photos composite by Kacie Brown)

This week, we hear about the cherry harvest in northern Michigan, spend time aboard an aging state research vessel, go for a walk in the woods and drop in on an air show!

Mary Ellen Newport goes for a walk every day.

She teaches ecology and advanced biology at Interlochen Arts Academy and, for her, the woods that surround her school's campus are also a giant outdoor classroom.

She says she has two goals for her students. The first is eco-literacy.

"So that they look at a forest and say, 'Oh, that's a healthy forest,'" Newport said. "But also, biophilia is a goal of mine. You cannot love what you don't know, and you won't fight for what you don't love. I'm really trying to help kids recognize the precious resources we have here and then at their own homes."

We go for a walk with Newport this week in the Up North Lowdown, and discuss the value of being outdoors. And she says if you're eager to find some good outdoor spots, check out local land conservancies in Grand Traverse County, Leelanau County and near Little Traverse Bay.

We'll also hear about northern Michigan's cherry harvest, and visit the crew of a state research vessel called the Steelhead, which is entering its last year of service after decades on the Great Lakes.

Oh, and there are fighter jets at the end.

Ed Ronco is IPR's news director.
Max Copeland is the local weekday host of All Things Considered on Interlochen Public Radio and the producer of The Up North Lowdown, IPR’s weekly news podcast.