April O'Neil / news@WHMI.com

After nearly 18 months of collaborating with the public, advisory groups, stakeholders, and other state agencies, Michigan’s state parks and recreation system now has an updated five-year strategic plan.

The 2023-2027 Parks and Recreation Division Strategic Plan identifies the goals and objectives that will prioritize natural resource protection, parks and recreation, education, funding, and environmental sustainability over the five-year period.

"The plan will serve as a roadmap to best manage Michigan’s diverse natural, cultural and recreational resources, and help us provide long-lasting memories for visitors seeking outdoor recreation experiences,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “With park, trail, and boating destinations located in urban and rural settings, we are proud to help contribute toward the state’s $26.3 billion tourism industry.”

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division manages 103 state parks and recreation areas, totaling 360,000 acres. It also oversees the state’s boating program, 13,400 miles of state-designated motorized and nonmotorized trails, 630 miles of state-designated water trails, and 140 state forest campgrounds.

In 2021 alone, the state parks system attracted more than 30 million state park day-use visits and more than 1.4 million state park camp nights.

As the weather changes and more people get outdoors, the DNR is hopeful the strategic plan will enhance park-goers' experiences.

The full plan is available at the provided link.