MI Big Green Gym offers free park passes for Michigan fitness seekers

R011377_MIBigGreenGymLogoFor anyone wanting to get fit this summer, but find their budget is the leanest part of their lifestyle, a quick trip to Manchester District Library for a free pass into MI Big Green Gym is the first step to getting started.

MI Big Green Gym is a partnership with Michigan Recreation and Park Association, the Department of Natural Resources, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. It is designed to show just how easy it is to get out, get active and get healthier. Lucky for Michigan residents, MI Big Green Gym is as close as their nearest state park or community recreation center – and is now available for free thanks to more than 400 community libraries participating in the program, including Manchester District Library.   

The DNR started the Park & Read program in 2010 as a way to provide free passes to state parks.  Now, with support from Blue Cross, the program has been re-focused to promote outdoor fitness and provides free one-day passes into any state park, state forest campground or pathway, as well as includes family-friendly destinations at select community recreation facilities.

“At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we understand the powerful benefits that physical activity can have on an individual’s health and quality of life,” said Bridget Hurd, director of Community Responsibility of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“A sedentary lifestyle can cause serious health problems, from obesity to heart disease,” Hurd added. “Building on the resources available through MRPA and the DNR, MI Big Green Gym offers endless opportunities for people to get out, get moving and create a fitness routine that’s enjoyable, easily accessible and affordable.”

Passes allow one vehicle into a state park for one day, and with many parks offering free intro programs with all the gear and expertise provided through the Rec 101 program, that one day can lead to lifelong memories.

“Whether you’re looking for cardiovascular health, rehabilitation or just getting ready for swimsuit season, these free passes are a great excuse to get up and go.  Hiking, biking, swimming, jogging, geocaching, or just a peaceful stroll, time in the park is good for the soul” said Ron Olson, Chief, Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR.

Passes are valid for seven days from check-out and can be used for day-use only, not for use at prearranged/ multiple person private gatherings, or overnight camping.  The program is available June 1 to October 1.

For more information, visit the library’s home page at http://www.manchesterlibrary.info.  


About Heather Sturm

Director at Manchester District Library
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