#MiStateParks: boat recycling, free ORV, hunters of color event and more

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Michigan state parks news - August 2022

Have a boat growing weeds in your yard? 

old boat sitting in woods

As we celebrate 75 years of the waterways program, Michigan's boating industry is coming together to find ways to recycle fiberglass boats, a national challenge that Michigan is determined to solve. 

Want to help? Complete this online form to help us estimate how many fiberglass boats are out there and ready to be recycled. At the same time, you can sign up for text updates on the recycling project and provide your input.

Fiberglass boat recycling opportunities could be available as early as spring 2023. Boat shrink-wrap recycling is already available, and Boat Michigan is encouraging you to "Think before you shrink" this fall. 

DNR’s first two ARPA-funded state park infrastructure projects will be underway this fall

two visitors on hill look out at Mackinac Bridge through trees

Thanks to $250 million in record-breaking federal relief funding from Gov. Whitmer's Building Michigan Together Plan, two of the first "shovel ready" projects for campers to get excited about will soon be breaking ground.

The approximately $2 million Straits State Park project includes the replacement of the park's two upper campground toilet and shower buildings, mirroring many of the finish details from recently constructed buildings in the lower campground.

A roughly $750,000 project to upgrade electrical and water distribution systems is set for Cheboygan State Park's modern campground. The project entails the replacement of below-ground water mains and electrical conduit, meters and distribution panels, as well as upgraded jug fillers and electrical pedestals. An estimated $2 million is proposed in later investments in the sewer system.

The funding stems from the federal relief program, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

We’ve put together a site to help you follow along. Here you’ll find FAQs, a photo gallery and an interactive map identifying proposed project locations, details and status of those projects. Visit Michigan.gov/StateParksProgress

Don't miss the last Free ORV Weekend of the summer

three orvs riding in a row

You and your friends are invited to ride Michigan's 4,000 miles of off-road vehicle trails and routes and/or the state’s six scramble areas during the second Free ORV Weekend this year.

Both Michigan residents and visitors can ride DNR-designated routes and trails Aug. 20-21 without an ORV license or permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply, and the Recreation Passport is required where applicable.

Typically, there's an entrance fee at Holly Oaks ORV Park (although no Recreation Passport requirement), but the fee will be waived for this special weekend.

Mackinac Bridge to close to vehicle traffic Labor Day morning

Mackinac Bridge

If your Labor Day weekend travel plans include crossing the Mighty Mac, please keep in mind that the Mackinac Bridge Authority will close the bridge Monday, Sept. 5 from 6:30 a.m. to noon for the 2022 Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk.

Why not make the most of your extra time and explore a new (or favorite) destination? There are so many things to explore, such as Mackinaw City or St. Ignace, Ocqueoc Falls (the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula), Fayette Historic State Park in the Upper Peninsula and more.

'Lodge and Learn' getaways at the RAM Center

Lodge and Learn programs are still available at the RAM Center in Roscommon this month. For as little as $184 a person, this stay includes two nights of lodging, all your meals, an evening bonfire with s'mores, access to kayaks and your choice of outdoor programming with a nature educator.

Hunters of Color event taking place Aug. 25 at Belle Isle Park

New, interested and experienced hunters are invited to a special event taking place 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 at Belle Isle Park (Shelter 8 East and West) in Detroit. Live demos, giveaways, vendors and food are all part of this event. Find event details.

Help us enhance the visitor day-use experience! If you recently visited a state park or recreation area for the day, complete our online day-use survey.

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