Aug 20, 2010

Cast your vote to improve Michigan State Parks

Michigan is blessed with almost 100 state parks and recreation areas that accommodate a wide variety of activities, and residents have an opportunity to improve them.

Michigan is also home to more than 100 public beaches, some of the highest freshwater sand dunes in the world, stunning multi-colored sandstone cliffs, two National Lakeshores and the only national marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes--the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron. More than 100 lighthouses, numerous maritime museums, 10 shipwreck-diving preserves and historic military fortifications rim Michigan's Great Lakes shoreline.

Lakes, campgrounds, wildlife refuges and 99 Michigan state parks and recreation areas create a wide variety of recreational pursuits. Rivers for water sports, and thousands of miles of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails thread their way among some 100 species of trees. You are never more than half an hour from a Michigan State Park, State Forest Campground, State Recreation Area or State trail system.

The Odwalla Juice Company launched its Third Annual Plant a Tree program, a partnership between Odwalla and America's State Parks to support the environment and help with important reforestation and planting initiatives. The good news is that Odwalla has increased the voting limit to five votes per user. If you voted only once the first time around or missed out on voting entirely, you may now vote up to five times to plant trees in Michigan state parks and recreation areas. The voting deadline has also been extended to Sept. 1, or until the remaining tree funds are exhausted. Michigan will use its dollars to purchase trees for areas heavily affected by the Emerald Ash borer and other invasive pests.

Michigan employees responded quickly to an earlier request and helped push Michigan into the lead, but with the new five-for-one voting, Pennsylvania is beginning to close the gap. There is still roughly $40,000 worth of free trees available for planting – or voting – in the contest. Please take a minute to do something meaningful and long-lasting for Michigan’s great outdoor spaces. Visit the web site and cast your votes today, and encourage your colleagues, friends and family to do the same. Let’s make Michigan the top vote-getter two years in a row.

Last year, Michigan received over $50,000 from Odwalla. This money was used to purchase trees for some of the State Parks and Recreation Areas that have been heavily impacted by the Emerald Ash borer, and other exotic forest pests. This year, Michigan will continue replanting efforts in these heavily impacted areas.

A 6-character tree code is required for each vote, and they are available in Park Visitor Welcome Kits. However, if you have not had the privilege visiting one of Michigan’s beautiful State Parks yet, you can use the code MI5000, but it can only be used for one vote per email address. If you are interested in obtaining a welcome kit for your own use, you can call the DNRE at (517) 373-0399 and request one.

Don't forget to vote.

No comments: