Viewfinders help colorblind park attendees see Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in full color

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:01 PM EDT
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ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) - Four people were the first to get the gift of a lifetime Wednesday at Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park thanks to the Michigan DNR and a local nonprofit.

With newly installed viewfinders, colorblind visitors to the park now have a chance to see Lake of the Clouds and two more attractions in a new way. The viewfinders are engineered to allow people with colorblindness to see the entire color spectrum.

Crystal Falls native Patty Steinberg was one of three people selected to use the viewfinders at Wednesday’s unveiling.

“If you’re colorblind, and you wonder what you’ve been missing, you should come and look at the viewfinder and see what you’ve been missing,” Steinberg said.

The Friends of the Porkies raised $17,000 for the viewers and the bases. The nonprofit’s president, Sally Berman, says she was overjoyed to see the participants use the viewfinder.

“When I heard the comments from those three people who were using the viewers and the glasses for the first time, I had tears running down my face. Tears of joy,” Berman said.

Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park Manager Michael Knack says the park should be accessible for all.

“The Porkies is such a special place, and we want everyone to enjoy it,” Knack said. “We found out that approximately 12% of the U.S. population has some degree of colorblindness, so this is just one more way we can bring everybody into the park, and they can all enjoy and experience the park in a similar way.”

Park attendee Klaus Rechelbacher was walking by when he noticed the new installation and quickly jumped at the opportunity to use the viewfinder since he was born colorblind.

“It’s nice that the park takes the time and gives people the opportunity to be able to see the way it should be seen, and it gives me that opportunity now,” Rechelbacher said.

The colorblindness viewers can also be found at Summit Peak and Nawadaha Falls in the Presque Isle Unit of the park.

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