Two years after the Department of Natural Resources introduced the $10 Recreation Passport as a new way to fund state parks and outdoor recreation opportunities, the DNR today announced that – effective Jan. 2, 2013 – the purchase price of the Recreation Passport will change to $11. The Passport is required for vehicles entering Michigan’s state parks, recreation areas and forest campgrounds.
The $1 increase is based on a statutory requirement – built into the 2010 legislation that created the Recreation Passport – that says the purchase price of the Passport must keep pace with inflation. Every year, the state treasurer will evaluate changes in the Consumer Price Index and make a recommendation accordingly. This year, the state treasurer has determined the price increase is $1.
In October 2010, Michigan residents saw the last of the previous $24 motor vehicle permit (or window sticker), in favor of the new Recreation Passport. Since then, state recreation officials say they have found even more ways to make a real value even better.
“With the Recreation Passport on their vehicles, Michigan residents can explore nearly 400 outdoor recreation destinations including state parks, state forests, boat launches and trailheads in one of the largest and most scenic state park systems in the country,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson.
“The Recreation Passport also essentially gives folks a ‘free trial’ of nearly every recreational pursuit through the DNR’s nationally recognized Recreation 101 program – a series of hands-on classes designed to introduce people of all ages to a fun and active outdoor lifestyle,” Olson added.
Another bonus: residents who purchase the Recreation Passport through the Secretary of State’s office when renewing their license plate registrations get immediate access to the Passport Perks rewards program. Through Passport Perks, the DNR has partnered with more than 1,100 local businesses offering discounts on goods and services to Recreation Passport holders.
“In some cases, it’s possible for residents to save enough money on Perks purchases to cover the price of the Recreation Passport, as well as the cost of their license plate fees,” Olson said. “As we bring more Passport Perks providers on board with the program, the benefits will keep growing, too.”
To learn more about the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.
Stretching the benefits even further, the Recreation Passport legislation also states that a percentage of Passport-generated revenue will be allocated for the preservation and protection of historic and cultural resources, assistance with the maintenance and operation of state forest campgrounds and pathways, and establishment of an annual grant fund for local community recreation projects.
In 2011, for example, this revenue helped to fund 24 Recreation Passport Grants for local community recreation projects. Revenues for 2012 will generate nearly $600,000 that will be divided among projects selected from a field of 78 grant applications received this year.
“For just $11, you can explore Michigan’s woods and waters; experience more than a thousand outdoor and recreation-themed events; save real money and support Michigan retailers and businesses; and, most importantly, make lifelong memories with family and friends,” Olson said. “This is what makes the Recreation Passport the best value in Michigan.”
To learn more about the Recreation Passport – how to get it, where to use it and how it benefits Michigan – visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.