Thursday, June 09, 2011

Get A Passport

In Case You Forgot
We even label the Great Lakes so you know which large body of water you are staring at.

So glad to hear that the Michigan Recreation Passport for the state parks has gotten off to such a great start. They recently passed 1 million in sales, and the participation rate is exceeding the percentage they needed to hit to bring in more money than the old system provided.

Michigan residents are increasingly supporting the program, according to data from the Secretary of State office, which tracks participation. State park officials are looking for a 12-month average of 24 percent to 25 percent participation this first year.

Seventeen percent participation is needed to break even and replace the $10.7 million that was collected under the old motor vehicle sticker system.

“We just got April numbers,” said Ron Olson, Michigan’s state parks chief with the Department of Natural Resources. “They were 23.8 percent in April, up from 22.5 percent the previous month. Every month (the number) has gotten better gradually. Our goal is 30 percent in 2012.”

The $10 passport allows you free entrance to 98 state parks and recreation areas and free use of 74 state boat launches. It's much cheaper than the old $24 a year rate, and beats the $6 a day rate if you only use it twice in a year.

I got mine, even though these high gas prices are keeping me from gallivanting around the state like I used to. I'll probably make it up to Muskegon at some point though, and for sure I'll get out to Grand Haven again - and now I won't have to worry about finding parking on the street. That will make it worth it right there.

Get one. Help out our parks.

Other good parks news - the DNR will keep the 23 parks that were slated for closure this year open through October, although no one has identified where the money is going to come from to run them. If they aren't going to worry about it we probably shouldn't either, but make a note that this was another one of those things that the R's insisted on cutting, and then changed their minds after they were in power.

Good idea to keep track of that stuff, don't you think?