DNR releases strategic plan for state parks & recreation areas

LANSING, MICH. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently adopted a new, updated five-year strategic plan to guide the future management of the state’s parks and recreation system. The plan was developed through statewide engagement with members of the public, advisory groups, stakeholders, other state agencies and DNR staff.

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division manages 103 state parks and recreation areas, totaling 306,148 acres across Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas. It also oversees the state’s boating program, the state motorized and non-motorized trails system and 138 state forest campgrounds.

“In Michigan, our diverse natural, cultural and recreational resources play a defining role in residents’ quality of life and the future of this state,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “This plan will serve as a compass for the next five years and help ensure proactive management and connection to these resources for future generations.”

The plan identifies goals, objectives and strategies to address the key issues affecting the state’s parks and recreation system. It is the culmination of an 18-month collaborative effort to define where resources will be focused to carry the state parks and recreation system beyond its centennial milestone in 2019.

The plan, titled Parks and Recreation Division Strategic Plan 2017-2022: Connections, is an overarching document that will guide the division in carrying out its mission to “acquire, protect and preserve the natural and cultural features of Michigan’s unique resources, and to provide access to land- and water-based recreation and educational opportunities” over the upcoming five-year period. The plan is available at www.michigan.gov/prdstrategicplans.