Michigan’s outdoor recreation system—including public spaces and bodies of water, playgrounds and bike lanes, and more—offers vital social, health, economic and environmental benefits to all of us.
Over the past few months, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been compiling information about the state’s integrated system of federal, state and local recreation facilities.
The DNR is inviting input on its draft 2023-2027 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). A comment period is open until December 1st.
The SCORP of the DNR is:
- A broad, flexible, five-year strategic plan designed to assess ongoing and emerging outdoor recreation trends, needs and issues and prioritize the achievement of outdoor recreation goals.
- An ongoing framework and action plan for state and local recreation partners to guide their outdoor recreation management and policy decisions.
- Required for access to certain federal grants; it shapes Michigan State and local communities’ investments in priority outdoor recreation infrastructure, land acquisition and programming.
Chief among the plan’s activities was a statewide survey conducted in coordination with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other partners.
The results of this effort have demonstrated the importance of outdoor recreation to the economy, health and well-being of the state. The plan includes regional breakdowns of the data collected.
Among the results, Michigan’s outdoor recreation system delivers a combined economic value of $165 billion. The cost of annual disease savings from outdoor recreation totaled $2.76 billion.
The top motivations for participating in outdoor recreation in Michigan were to study the great outdoors (94%), to feel better mentally and emotionally (93%), to take time out from work or everyday life (89%), and Playing sports and being physically challenged (82%). ).
The top 3 leisure activities by participation were, respectively, walking on streets or sidewalks, going to the beach without swimming, and walking on local dirt paths or trails.
To check the plan, visit the DNR’s website. Send comments or suggestions to [email protected] no later than December 1st.
Public input on the draft, as appropriate, will be incorporated into the development of the final plan, which will be submitted to the US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service by December 31.
Early next year, the plan will go into effect for the next five years, guiding actions by numerous companies aimed at improving outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone in the state of Michigan.