The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division has been honored by the National Association of State Park Directors, which recently gave its 2012 President’s Award to the agency in recognition of its Recreation 101 program – a popular and growing series of instructional events and workshops that encourage residents and visitors to get out, learn new recreation skills and enjoy the outdoors. The award honors statewide organizations that have made an extraordinary contribution to the goals of a state park system.

According to DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson, the Recreation 101 program, which is currently in its second year, has proved to be an excellent example of a successful collaboration between many sectors of the recreation community.

“Recreation 101 has grown from 87 events in 2011 to more than 300 introductory programs in 2012, offering almost everything from archery to windsurfing, that have led people into our parks and recreation areas, and also into a healthy, more active lifestyle,” Olson said.  He added that the program has reached thousands of people in the last two years and has involved a successful partnership between volunteer instructors and nearly 100 Michigan outdoor recreation businesses.

The award was presented during the National Association of State Park Directors’ annual conference that took place Sept. 4-7 in Lexington, Ky.

Learn more about the Recreation 101 program at www.michigan.gov/rec101. The DNR also offers ongoing nature programming; check out the schedule at www.michigan.gov/natureprograms.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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