web analytics

Tag Archive | "Parks and Recreation"

State parks help kick off 2017 resolutions with Shoe Year’s Day hikes


out-shoe-years-hikes2-syhinfographic

Click to enlarge

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to kick their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at a number of “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place in Michigan state parks and recreation areas Dec. 31-Jan. 8.

Outdoor enthusiasts are encouraged to kick their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at a number of “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place in Michigan state parks and recreation areas Dec. 31-Jan. 8.

For many people, a new year is the time for making resolutions. Frequently, those resolutions involve making a pledge to become healthier. With that sentiment in mind, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages residents to kick off 2017 by bringing Michigan’s great outdoors into the mix.

The DNR, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Michigan Recreation and Park Association are joining together to encourage residents to shift their New Year’s resolutions into high gear at “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes taking place Dec. 31-Jan. 8 at several Michigan state parks and recreation areas.

“There are countless benefits to using Michigan’s great outdoors as your gym,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “People tend to work out longer, enjoy their workout more, and burn more calories by exercising outside, while enjoying the beauty of our state.”

All “Shoe Year’s Day” hikes are free; however, a Recreation Passport is required for any vehicle entering a Michigan state park or recreation areas. Snowshoes will be available to rent at most locations.

According to Olson, the Recreation Passport is a great value and may be the most affordable gym membership available. The annual pass costs residents $11 for vehicle access to 103 state parks and 138 state forest campgrounds, as well as parking for hundreds of trails and staffed boat launches.

The following Shoe Year’s guided hikes are scheduled:

Maybury State Park (Wayne County) Dec. 31 at 10 a.m.

Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County) Jan. 1 at 11 a.m.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area (Barry County) Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.

Ludington State Park (Mason County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.

Rockport Recreation Area (Alpena County) Jan. 7 at noon

Sleeper State Park (Huron County) Jan. 7 at 6 p.m.

Straits State Park (Cheboygan County) Jan. 7  at 5 p.m.

Mitchell State Park (Wexford County) Jan. 8 at 1 p.m.

If you can’t make it to one of the fun events going on across the state, you can still take advantage of Michigan’s parks, trails and waterways on your own time by visiting a Michigan state park or recreation area, the Iron Belle Trail or the more than 12,500 miles of state-designated trails.

Michigan is part of the nationwide First Day Hikes program coordinated by the National Association of State Park Directors. They were inspired by the First Day Hikes that originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. Last year, more than 55,000 people participated on guided hikes that covered over 133,000 miles on 1,100 hikes across the country.

Visit www.michigan.gov/shoeyearhikes to view the calendar of events.

Share your resolution on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using #MiShoeYear.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off on State parks help kick off 2017 resolutions with Shoe Year’s Day hikes

Read and Relax in Michigan Parks


Park & Read Program Offers Free Park Passes for Michigan Readers

Spend a lazy day with a good book in the great outdoors compliments of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Library of Michigan.

Back for a third summer, the DNR and the Library of Michigan are offering their Park & Read program at more than 400 participating libraries across the state.

While checking out a book, Park & Read allows library cardholders to “check-out” a one-day pass that waives the Recreational Passport entry fee into any Michigan state park or recreation area. This $10 savings also provides a one-time, free access to more than 500 events taking place in state parks throughout the summer, and to make the day even more relaxing, some of the state parks are offering the loan of a hammock.

The Grand Rapids Public Library has been a part of the Park & Read program since its inception in 2009. Marking and Communications Manager Kristen Krueger-Corrado says the library saw participation jump by 10 percent last year.

“Many of our patrons are struggling to find work and making due with less. The Park & Read program allows them to have an inexpensive way to enjoy Michigan’s natural beauty, spend time with family and friends, and exercise their mind and body,” Krueger-Corrado said. “Many of our patrons expressed their excitement at being able to check out a Park & Read pass–it was the only way they were able to afford to take their family to the beach that summer. And who doesn’t love a day at the beach?”

Passes are valid for seven days from checkout and can be used for one day at any one of Michigan’s 98 state parks.  Passes are valid for day use only.  The program runs through Oct. 1, 2011.

For more information on the program and a complete list of participating libraries, hammock availability, and park events taking place throughout the state, visit www.michigan.gov/stateparks.

Posted in OutdoorsComments Off on Read and Relax in Michigan Parks

Dancing the night away


Ron Tennant dances with daughters Kaylee (center) and Sara (left).

Even the youngest little girl has a special man in her life that she looks up to, and the 7th annual Daddy Daughter dance at Cedar Springs Middle School last Saturday night was all about celebrating that.
“This event is one of the most special nights of the year for many young girls in our community and the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Department,” remarked Amanda Gerhardt, Parks and Rec director. “It is a thrill to see the families enjoying themselves and dancing the night away. We want everyone to feel special and we believe based on the smiles we have seen on their faces that we have achieved our goal.”
The dance, held the first Saturday in February, is for girls ages 3 through early teens and their dad, grandpa, uncle, or other father figure. Over 300 people attended this year’s event, which gets bigger each year.
The girls decorated heart cardboard heart boxes, and danced to the music of a daddy-daughter DJ team. They also had the opportunity to buy stuffed animals and t-shirts at the event.

Madelyn and Mackenzie Ranger take a break.

Photos were taken by Shannon Vandehyde and will be delivered to the classrooms at Cedar Springs Public Schools. Over 150 photos from the dance are posted on the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec Facebook page, and Gerhardt welcomed people to upload their own pictures to the site.

Posted in Featured, NewsComments Off on Dancing the night away