Tag: Business Partner

FLOW Business Partner Beth Price’s Innate Connection to Water

Mackinac Bridge photo by Beth Price

In this week’s installment of FLOW’s business supporter spotlight, Development Specialist Calli Crow connected with Beth Price Photography to talk about Beth Price’s love of water, passion for Great Lakes protection, and ongoing partnership with FLOW.

Beth Price Photography is a Northern Michigan-based company and longtime FLOW business supporter drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of the abundant freshwater of the Great Lakes. Beth’s colorful, light-infused, textural Freshwater Photography is visually gorgeous, and, perhaps more meaningfully, inspires that deep connection to life-giving water in others that fuels positive action! You can see her inspiring photography featured frequently in FLOW’s advocacy campaigns. 

The meaningful and continuing collaboration between Beth Price Photography and FLOW began back in December 2016 with the gallery opening of In Water: A Photographic Exploration at Space in Traverse City, following her works’ debut at the Fresh Coast Film Festival in Marquette, Michigan. Price generously donated the proceeds from the 2016 Traverse City opening to FLOW and has been inspiring Great Lakes protection through her photography ever since.

The synergy continues on May 13, one day past the state deadline to stop the flow of Line 5 oil in the Straits of Mackinac. Beth Price and FLOW’s Liz Kirkwood today are joining hundreds of advocates led by the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign  at the May 13 Shut Down Line 5 Rally in Mackinaw City. We invite you to look for real-time updates and Price’s stunning photography live from the rally on FLOW’s Instagram and Facebook.

Calli Crow: Beth, can you tell us about your relationship to water and how it inspires your creativity and connection to community?

Beth Price: My connection to water feels innate, like it has always been me. When I was nine, my family moved to Long Lake near Traverse City, and that’s where I gained my love and foundation. I learned to meditate there and formed a relationship with water. When I’m in the water, I lose sense of time and all obligations. I’m in my FLOW! Pun intended! The spiritual connection to the water and the light and color palette of Northwest Michigan inspire me to endless creativity. Regarding community, the dynamic beauty draws like-minded people. I love the people who love the water and adventure with me in the unpredictable weather and sometimes adverse conditions. We are connected through our shared experiences and love, and it continuously inspires new ideas in me. 

CC: What is your favorite thing about living near so much fresh water?

BP: I daily think about how fortunate I am to spend days, weeks, months, years in Northwest Michigan around so much fresh water! Fortunate, where my great fortune lies. Fortune isn’t always monetary!

CC: You’ve been collaborating with FLOW for almost 5 years now! Why do you support FLOW’s work? 

BP: When I launched the Great Lakes Surf Photography project, my goal was to partner and collaborate with organizations that advocate for the water. FLOW came highly recommended by Jim Bruckbrauer of Groundwork, and it was a natural fit. FLOW is unique in offering an intelligent, experienced, dedicated legal team, and I’m so appreciative because my brain can’t wrap around the technical aspects of the issues that FLOW tackles. I’m so grateful to be able to align myself with that caliber of work and through collaboration mutually increase our impact. Personally, another positive impact of being involved with FLOW is how it has elevated my knowledge on issues and helped me be a better advocate for freshwater and the Great Lakes through my camera!

CC: What do you think is the biggest threat to the Great Lakes?

BP: Human beings are the biggest threat even though we have the knowledge and power to change. In my lifetime, we’ve seen so much change: in little things like packaging and big things like educating the masses on important issues. But to save our Great Lakes from the threats like Line 5, it’s going to take a collective. Collective is a big word, and it needs to be across the board, all of us taking care of the public trust.

To learn more about how your business can collaborate with FLOW, contact Calli Crow, Development Specialist, at calli@flowforwater.org.

Business Partner Kristin MacKenzie: Fresh Water Keeps Me Centered and Grounded, Brings Me Inspiration

On Wednesdays, FLOW will feature one of our Business Partners who draws inspiration for their artwork or lifestyle from our precious fresh water.

Meet Leland, Michigan-based watercolor painter Kristin MacKenzie Hussey, who is donating 50 percent of sales (until June 15) to FLOW from her museum-quality Giclée fine art print, which features Lake Michigan waves lapping the shoreline.

“Lake Michigan has always been my safe place, my center,” writes Kristin. “I feel most at peace when I am on the shore, watching the waves roll in, listening to them crash on the stones. And it is so incredibly important to keep this space pure and protected.”

Click here to follow Kristin MacKenzie Design on Instagram.

FLOW Development Specialist Calli Crow chatted with Kristin about her inspiration to support FLOW.

What is your favorite aspect of living near so much beautiful, fresh water? 

I love being able to visit the water so easily. It helps keep me centered and grounded, and also brings me so much inspiration for my artwork. I feel very lucky to have my little girls grow up surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes. There’s nothing like spending a summer day playing in the water with them.

What do you think is the biggest threat to the Great Lakes?

The biggest threat to the Great Lakes is people being apathetic toward keeping it safe, and taking the beauty that surrounds us for granted. It is so important to actively protect our waters; whether it’s voting for legislation that is in favor of protecting the Great Lakes, cleaning up our shoreline, donating to organizations like FLOW, or creating artwork that highlights the beauty of the area and reminds people to treasure this special place that we call home.

How did you learn about FLOW, and why do you support our work?

I learned about FLOW through the local community and support them because of their work toward protecting the Great Lakes. I support their fight against using plastic water bottles, their fight to shut down Line 5, and am impressed by their mission to teach the community about the importance of our local freshwater ecosystem.

What’s your perfect spring day on or near the Great Lakes?

My perfect spring day would be hiking through the woods overlooking Lake Michigan, walking along the shoreline looking for Leland Blues and Petoskey stones, having a picnic with friends on the beach, and finishing the day with a sunset paddleboard.

To learn more about how your business can collaborate with FLOW, contact Calli Crow, Development Specialist, at calli@flowforwater.org.

FLOW Business Partner Sleeping Bear Tour Company Leads “Wilderness Tours”

Photo by Sleeping Bear Tour Company’s Julie Den Uyl

By Calli Crow, FLOW Development Specialist

On Saturday, April 25, members of FLOW’s board and I joined a few hearty volunteers on a trek to North Bar Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to join Sleeping Bear Tour Company for an exclusive two-hour wilderness tour highlighting the lakeshore’s gorgeous light sand beaches, beautiful turquoise waters, cedar swamps, and maple beech forests. The hike was led by former Park Ranger Julie Den Uyl, who recently launched Sleeping Bear Tour Company.

Our group benefited from great weather for hiking but we still dressed in layers to accommodate what Julie referred to as the “four seasons” of this particular hike. One moment we were peeling off sweaters and hats as we filed up sunny, sandy slopes and the next we were zipping our windbreakers and donning hoods as we faced the refreshing inland sea breezes. We had lovely, casual conversations about water and life as we strolled the shore scanning for Petoskey stones. A favorite moment of the hike was a snack break in the woods between the Lake Michigan shore and North Bar Lake. We all enjoyed the fresh air and pine trees and great company.

Speaking of great company, our FLOW group was joined by Tim Rehard and his husband Curt Titus of Camp Dubonnet, a top Hipcamp site located on a 16-acre horse farm in Grand Traverse County with access to Lake Dubonnet. This new “secret” spot is friendly and fun and home to really cute new baby goats.

The Sleeping Bear Tour Company (SB2R) was recently featured in the Leelanau Ticker as one of the county’s “Budding New Businesses.” SB2R has the special distinction of being authorized by the National Park Service as the first-ever personal guide service company to be able to lead tours into the National Lakeshore’s “wilderness lands.”

FLOW is proud to name Sleeping Bear Tour Company as a business partner and looks forward to collaborating this summer to get FLOW supporters out experiencing the beauty of the Great Lakes. Click here for a list of our Business Partners. Visit Sleeping Bear Tour Company online or email guides@sb2r.com to arrange your own Wilderness Hike. Don’t forget to mention FLOW.

To learn more about how your business can collaborate with FLOW, contact Calli Crow, Development Specialist at calli@flowforwater.org.