Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Michigan state parks gear up for warm weather with outdoor education, fitness programs

Just in time for warmer weather, the Department of Natural Resources is offering many opportunities throughout the state for families to get outdoors and experience all that Michigan state parks have to offer.

A kayaker enjoying time on Michigan waters.Recreation 101 – known as Rec 101 – is one of the parks’ most popular programs. This series of free, hands-on lessons allows participants to learn new skills and explore nature-related topics in Michigan’s beautiful woods and waters. Activities range from archery to windsurfing, and all equipment and expert instruction is provided free of charge. Learn more about the program atwww.michigan.gov/rec101.

For the health-conscious individual and anyone looking to get in shape, the DNR launched its Fresh Air Fit program last summer. These classes are taught by local fitness instructors and include yoga, tai chi, trail running and cardio, to name just a few. Studies have shown that outdoor exercise is even more beneficial than traditional classes, so Fresh Air Fit participants can expect to experience enhanced focus, a better mood and even increased attention span. For more details, visit www.michigan.gov/freshfit.

Below are some of the Rec 101 and Fresh Air Fit programs scheduled at state parks in May:

May 13, 6 p.m. – Rec 101: Intro to Mushroom HuntingSeven Lakes State Park (Genesee County)

May 17, 9-10 a.m. – Spring Renewal Yoga Tune-Up
Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County)

May 17, 10:30 a.m.-noon – Fresh Air Fit: EcoTrek Fitness
Sleepy Hollow State Park (Clinton County)

May 17, 11 a.m.-noon – Spring Renewal Yoga Tune-Up
Gerald E. Eddy Discover Center at Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson County)

May 17, 2-3 p.m. – Spring Renewal Yoga Tune-Up
Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County)

May 17, 4-5 p.m. – Spring Renewal Yoga Tune-Up
Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County)

May 23, 9-10 p.m. – Rec 101: Intro to Astronomy
Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County)

May 30-June 1, all day – Fresh Air Fit: Beginner Triathlon Training Camp
Interlochen State Park (Grand Traverse County)

Some classes require advance registration. Please check the online event listing for details and a full schedule of events at Michigan state parks: www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors.

Recreation 101 relies upon volunteer instructors who provide the equipment and instruction. Anyone interested in volunteering as a Recreation 101 instructor should contact DNR recreation programmer Maia Turek at 989-225-8573.
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