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Iron Mountain/Kingsford

It's hard to tell the two towns apart except for when the high school sports team play each other, but Iron Mountain and Kingsford have storied histories intertwined with the success of the Upper Peninsula. Kingsford Charcoal was founded there when Henry Ford and his relative E.G. Kingsford began selling the byproduct of the Model T plant. In addition, Iron Mountain is the birth place of the U.P.-wide Pine Mountain Music Festival. The Menominee River, which flows nearby, is home to what is considered the most challenging whitewater rafting in the Midwest. 
Rapid River scrimmages Superior Central early in the 2015 8-man football season.

The boys of fall more often number eight these days

Football season is here, but it's not the sport many Upper Peninsula high school alumni remember. Amid declining enrollment, football doesn't draw as many players as it once did. That's giving rise to smaller 8-man teams across the state.

Scott Robbins stands among Michigan maples.

The Surprising Second Life of a Michigan Tree

In Michigan, we appreciate our trees for their beauty, and the shade and recreation they provide. But that's just part of their value. Here, we follow the surprising second life of a Michigan tree.

Stefanie Stauffer and Ryan Padgett are urban farmers in Ann Arbor.

The secret(s) to sustainable urban farms

Urban agriculture, once a buzz-y idea for transforming vacant spaces, has taken root in cities across America. Now, cities and farmers are thinking about how to make the movement sustainable year-round and long-term.

Michigan is covered in maple trees, yet few are used in syrup production.

Michigan farms keep eye on demand for natural maple syrup

A U.P. business wants to be the solution to the supply problem for natural, organic maple syrup, which is in high demand lately.

Teach For America Detroit's Danielle Stringer, Peter Grace, Kammy Webb and Latoya Asaya.

Why teacher diversity matters in Michigan

If the teacher standing at the front of the classroom is a good teacher, does it matter what race he or she is? The answer seems to be yes, at least for achievements by students of color.

Char's Cafe in Bruce Crossing.

Char's Cafe offers good eats in Bruce Crossing

Sometimes, when a place has one of those old "EAT" signs, it's a sign you shouldn't. That is happily not the case at Char's Cafe in Bruce Crossing, which reviewer Small Town Girl Foodie World says is actually awesome.

Sarah LeSage

What We've Lost: The community impact of invasive species

Invasive species are costly to Michigan cities and their residents, negatively affecting everyone's quality of life. Here's a look at what we've lost to invasive species and how we can prevent future invasives from causing similar damage.

Manufactured home communities also sometimes offer old-fashioned neighborhood amenities.

The return of the pre-fab home

Millennials looking to buy their first homes and Boomers looking to downsize find factory-built or manufactured housing to be a good alternative that offers affordable, sturdy and green living. 

Great Lakes Coffee in Detroit.

The next level of being a localist: 3 ways to up your local game

Do you believe in the power of small business to restore community? If so, you might be a localist. Here are three simple suggestions for how to contribute to the localist movement in a meaningful, holistic way.

Bill Sterrett stands in a portion of maintained state forest land.  It was clear cut around 35 years ago and has grown back.

All about the (real) green: How forestry is about community impact, not financial

Think that recently clear cut forest in your community is a darn shame? It might not look lovely, but the forest management practice is crucial to healthy trees, wildlife and communities in Northern Michigan. 
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