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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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