When nature calls, campers at Grand Haven State Park can now go "green" at a new, environmentally friendly toilet-shower building that is the first of its kind in the state park system.
Construction on a similar facility at Otsego Lake State Park near Gaylord is scheduled to begin this fall.
Officials hope to eventually replace all the restrooms at Michigan's 97 state parks and recreation areas with buildings like the one in Grand Haven.
The water- and energy-efficient product features natural daytime lighting, artificial nighttime lighting triggered by occupancy detectors, timer-controlled showers with on-demand water heaters and reduced-flow shower heads, and low-flow toilets and urinals.
A small array of solar panels on the roof supplements the electricity used for the building's ventilation system.
Building materials were selected for their long-term maintenance qualities. A new sanitary sewer line should mean a safer watershed.