The Great Northern Michigan Shovel Experiment

Clearing your sidewalk is both awesome and in places, the law.

After four successful years, we’re excited to bring back The Great Northern Michigan Shovel Experiment.

This crowd-sourced effort aims to keep Northern Michigan communities accessible this winter. We do that by maintaining clear sidewalks, curb cuts, bus stops, pedestrian bridges, and fire hydrants during the winter. And by raising awareness that shoveling your sidewalk is both remarkable and (in many places) the law.

Ultimately, The Great Northern Michigan Shovel Experiment is aimed at neighbors helping neighbors to keep moving during our coldest months. What can you do to help others keep moving? 

The region is improving its efforts to clear sidewalks in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, intersection curb cuts often become barricades once the street plow comes by after the sidewalk plow. These orphaned snow-berms make the intersection impassable for people like Jeanne, who uses a wheelchair.

What can you do? 

  1. Take the Pledge–Pledge to keep your sidewalk clear all winter. 
  2. Adopt a Spot– Our goal is to pair up energetic people with shovels with an adopted intersection in their neighborhood or near their workplace. 

How does it work?

  1. Pledge below to keep your residential or business sidewalk shoveled.
  2. Adopt an intersection, a pedestrian bridge, a bus stop, and a fire hydrant near your home or workplace.
  3. Receive heaps and heaps of praise and gratitude as well as mucho high fives for being awesome. Send us pics of your efforts. We love before and after shots after massive snowfalls.

Take the pledge to keep your sidewalk clear (and if able, adopt an intersection, bus stop, pedestrian bridge or fire hydrant) here:

  • Optional but awesome. Please be specific ie. Oak & 6th intersection, Water Street & Front bus stop, Cass Street bridge.

No shovel? 

No problem. Our friends at Northern Building Supply have generously donated dozens of shovels for neighbors in need. Swing by the Norte Clubhouse at the Civic Center Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 2-6 pm and Saturdays 10-2 pm. Call 231-883-2404 with questions. 

Northern Building Supply will also have these shovels for sale at their store. For every shovel sold, a portion of the proceeds will go to Norte.

Need help shoveling your sidewalk? 

The Northern Michigan Big Dig is part of our “neighbors helping neighbors” campaign. Complete this form, and we’ll try our best to connect you with someone in your neighborhood that can help.

COMING SOON