Something for everyone

Ishpeming Senior Center tours Lakenenland Sculpture Park

The Ishpeming Senior Center offered a day trip trip to Lakenenland, a sculpture park located along M-28 East in Chocolay Township, on Monday. Above, members of the tour group explore the Lakenenland’s campfire area, which also features a cheerful pink elephant, complete with polka-dotted ears. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — The air was filled with bird song and sunshine at Lakenenland, a sculpture park located at 2800 M-28 East in Chocolay Township, as a group of visitors with the Ishpeming Senior Center embarked upon a day trip to the park.

The group of visitors toured the 10-acre sculpture park via bus, allowing attendees to comfortably view the park’s many recycled-metal sculptures while stopping for photo opportunities and fun along the way.

The park contains over 80 sculptures — some are interactive, some focus on events in history and society, and some, like the extra-large, U.P.-sized mosquito and the flying saucer, are just fun — attendees smiled, laughed and exclaimed as they travelled through the park viewing the many sculptures.

Judy Saari, who was on the tour, noted her appreciation for the recycled nature of the sculptures.

Others said they enjoyed the opportunity to be in nature while viewing the art.

Tour attendees gather at Lakenenland’s pavilion, which features a fireplace, tables, seating and even a sculpture. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown

“It gets us out after a long winter of being cooped up,” said Beverly Johnson, who was on the tour with her husband, Duane Johnson.

Many who were on the tour noted their admiration of the park’s creative nature.

Tour attendee Janet Dunny noted her admiration of the unique ideas that Tom Lakenen, the local artist behind the park, has implemented in his sculpture park.

The group also spent time enjoying the park’s campfire area, which has a number of supplies, informational materials, seating and even a sculpture of a large, pink elephant that visitors can climb upon.

The group wrapped up the tour with a stop at pavilion, which offers seating, sculptures and a fireplace under the pavilion’s log roof that match the fun, functional and artistic spirit of Lakenenland.

A cheerful sign for Lakenenland features a deer and a bear. The park’s many sculptures, which are made from recycled metal, are made by Tom Lakenen, who owns the park. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

Many said they enjoyed that the park had something to offer for everyone, noting people of all ages and interests can find something to enjoy at the park, which offers a bog walk, two fishing ponds, and a bandshell, in addition to the interactive sculptures, picnic area and pavilion.

“It’s quite a little local gem,” Bertucci said.

Attendees said they are happy to see the park is free for anyone to enjoy at any time, as it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, free of charge.

The Ishpeming Senior Center has held the annual Lakenenland day trips for a number of years now, with organizers noting that the trips are well-attended and much loved.

“We do one every year,” said Ishpeming Senior Center Director Elyse Bertucci, noting it’s a popular tour that gives attendees a chance to tour the park and view new additions to the park’s sculpture collection, which has grown since the park was founded in 2003.

The tour, which departed from the Ishpeming Senior Center at 10 a.m. on a Marq-Tran bus, is one of several planned day trips for the year.

The next trip planned is a pasty picnic at Presque Isle in Marquette, which will be held June 25. The Marq-Tran bus will depart the Ishpeming Senior Center at 11 a.m., then the group will pick up pasties and head to Presque Isle for a picnic.

On July 9, the group will be going to the Marquette Regional History Center. In August, the “Senior Pickers And Treasure Seekers” trip will be held, which will stop at thrift stores and antique stores throughout Marquette County.

The tour is scheduled for Aug. 13, Bertucci said. The center will also offer trip to the Ishpeming Historical Society’s cemetery tour on Sept. 10, a fall color tour on Oct. 1 and a Christmas light tour on Dec. 10.

Bertucci says interested attendees should RSVP for tours as the center needs a count in advance for the bus service and lunches. The tours are free, but the group will typically stop for lunch and attendees are responsible for the cost of their meal.

She also noted seniors outside of the Ishpeming area are also welcome to participate in the free tours.

“For our activities, we usually welcome any senior, irregardless of where they reside,” Bertucci said.

To RSVP for a tour, or for more information on tours, call the Ishpeming Senior Center at (906) 475-5527. For more information on Lakenenland, visit lakenenland.com.