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.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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