July 2021: Parks and Recreation Month

 

WHEREAS, Michigan is home to a significant collection of diverse state, county, and local community parks that provide clean, safe, welcoming recreation spaces for residents of all ages and abilities; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan's state parks and recreation system boasts 103 state parks and recreation areas encompassing nearly 300,000 acres, 140 state forest campgrounds, 276 historic buildings, numerous exemplary natural areas, more than 700 archaeological sites, 19 state harbors, hundreds of boat launches, and more than 1,300 of miles of trails; and,

WHEREAS, state, county, and local community parks all contribute immeasurably to residents' quality of life, health, and well-being, making Michigan a great place to visit, work, and live; and,

WHEREAS, the programs and services at these parks are consistently delivered by knowledgeable, passionate park rangers, managers, recreation staff, maintenance workers, naturalists, land stewards, interpreters, stewardship experts, maintenance crews, and many other professionals, volunteers, and students committed to customer service and the visitor experience; and,

WHEREAS, partners from a number of parks and recreation organizations, convention and visitors bureaus, and other like-minded associations advocate mightily in support of broader access to quality outdoor public recreation opportunities; and,

WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, outdoor recreation in Michigan generates 124,000 direct jobs, $10.1 billion total outdoor recreation value, and $4.7 billion in wages and salaries; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan is a genuine four-season playground offering plentiful opportunities for people of all ages to hike, bike, picnic, paddle, camp, fish, hunt, snowmobile, ride, swim, or simply sit under the stars with family and friends; and,

WHEREAS, the value of outdoor recreation opportunities has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people sought peace, fresh air, and a little adventure, all while staying safe; 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of the state of Michigan, do hereby proclaim July 2021 as Michigan Parks and Recreation Month and encourage all residents to visit their favorite parks, discover new destinations, and take advantage of our state's abundant outdoor recreation opportunities.