Library part of free park pass project 2013.06.12

Written by David Green.

Get out, get active and get healthier.

The first step is a trip to Stair Public Library to pick up the MI Big Green Gym card.

MI Big Green Gym is a partnership with Michigan Recreation and Park Association, the Department of Natural Resources, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Fortunately for Michigan residents, MI Big Green Gym is as close as their nearest state park or community recreation center–and is now available for free thanks to more than 400 community libraries participating in the program.

The DNR started the Park & Read program in 2010 as a way to provide free passes to state parks. Now, with support from Blue Cross, the program has been rebranded to promote outdoor fitness and provides free one-day passes into any state park, state forest campground or pathway, as well as family-friendly destinations at select community recreation facilities. 

Passes allow one vehicle into a state park for one day, and with many parks offering free gear and expertise provided through the Rec 101 program.

“Whether you’re looking for cardiovascular health, rehabilitation or just getting ready for swimsuit season, these free passes are a great excuse to get up and go," said Ron Olson, Chief, Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR. "Hiking, biking, swimming, jogging, geocaching, or just a peaceful stroll, time in the park is good for the soul.” 

Passes are valid for seven days from check-out and can be used for day-use only, not for use at prearranged/multiple-person private gatherings, or overnight camping. The program is available until Oct. 1.

How the program works:

• Patrons must have a Stair Public Library card to check out a park pass.

• Park passes are good for seven days from check-out and can be used at any Michigan State Park in lieu of a daily motor vehicle permit.

• The certificate must be presented to the park’s contact station. The pass is good for one day of the seven-day period and only covers the motor vehicle permit fee.

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