Lakeneland is a metal sculpture park that has been part of the community and a tourist attraction for about 13 years. The sculpture park was built by my step dad Tom Lakenen who is a Marquette native. 20 years ago Tom made a huge impact in his life and quit drinking. At that time, he developed a new hobby and started building sculptures to occupy his free time and continue sobriety. In 2003 our yard was full of sculptures, and no one was able to see them or enjoy his unique art work except for family.
Tom then received a letter from Chocolay Township, requesting he move the sculpture that was by the road, next to our house, because it was considered a sign and was not allowed in a residential area. Tom decided to refinance our house and buy 37 acres off of M-28, 8 miles East of Harvey. He now has over 80 metal sculptures that he has built and continues to build as well as working construction as a welder for the Boilermakers, to make a living for our family and finance the park.
Lakenenland will always be a free of charge park year round. It is NOT a non-profit organization, it is solely supported and maintained by Tom year round. The Lakenens have graciously let multiple charitable events take place at Lakenenland benefiting the Women Center, Salvation Army, and music for all kids. In the winter if he’s laid off, you will find him there on the weekends with a bonfire, hot chocolate, and coffee for the snowmobilers on trail 417 or anyone who stops by.
My step-dad Tom is one of the hardest working men I have ever known. I am who I am because of him, he has taught me strong work ethic, knowledge, and compassion to always help others. I would like to give back to Tom, after all these years he has gave his time and talent to the community. Tom and my mom Lisa can’t write off any expenses for building or maintaining Lakenenland. I cannot express how much time he has spent cutting wood and every snow storm he has bundled up for blowing snow off all the sculptures with a leaf blower (etc). There are so many hidden fees and expenses to keep Lakeneland a float. I would like to see Tom and my mom Lisa continue operating Lakenenland for the community to enjoy, and I would like to ask for help for my family with having our community and tourists help them in return.