Residents are invited to join in an afternoon of wintery recreation by participating in the 5K Polar Bear Run along the Kal-Haven Linear Trail State Park. The event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, starting at the Driftbusters Snowmobile Club, 710 Hughson Court in Gobles, Mich. (Van Buren County).

Registration for the run begins at 12:30 p.m. The run kicks off at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources program starting at 2 p.m. Awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Cost to enter the race is $10, and it is open to all ages.

Proceeds from the race will assist the friends group in participating in the DNR’s matching funds program by helping to provide a matching portion to supplement the cost of future improvements to the Kal-Haven Trail. The 34-mile, multi-use linear trail links the cities of Kalamazoo and South Haven. For information about the event, contact LuAnn Sell, 269-370-4586.

More outdoor fun and exercise is available through the DNR’s Recreation 101 program, which provides expert instruction to budding outdoor enthusiasts by offering free, hands-on training in over 100 different activities. Learn about participating or becoming an instructor, 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 $11 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 ($30.50 annual; $8.40 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.

Image courtesy Michigan DNR

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