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.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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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