ONTONAGON COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s no doubt that Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a beautiful place, with stunning views and a lush landscape of vibrant colors for everyone to see, except for the colorblind.
That all changed on Wednesday with the unveiling of scenic viewers specially adapted for those with colorblindness. Park Manager Michael Knack first saw such viewers in parks throughout Tennessee, and vowed to bring them to the Porkies.
“When I first heard about these viewers, I knew I needed to get them for our park,” said Knack. “And it was a bit of a process and really the mission was to be able to let everybody else who has colorblindness be able to see what everyone with normal eyesight and normal vision can see, the spectacular views all across the Porkies in the Western U.P.”
It’s estimated that 13 million Americans are colorblind. It’s a disability that can make the natural world less appealing. Normal vision sees over a million hues and shades of color. The colorblind see only 10% of that. For the colorblind, the world appears gray, dull and washed out. On hand for the debut of these viewers were several colorblind individuals who’s initial reaction was complete amazement.
“It was awesome,” said Patti Stienberg. “I saw colors and hues I’ve never seen before.”
“When you grow up with colorblindness, you become callous kind of sort of speaking regardless what you see and you think it’s beautiful because it is, but until somebody shows you this is what it really is, then you kind of go on, ‘What have I been missing?” said Klaus Rechelbacher.
The new viewers are located at the Lake of the Clouds overlook, and at the mouth of the Presque Isle River and are free to use. The organization, “Friends of the Porkies” paid for the new scenic viewers with the goal to expand accessibility and inclusion for all In the Porcupine Mountains.