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Environment & Climate Change

All Michigan state parks offering free entry on "Black Friday"

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Spend time on Black Friday in the great outdoors - not just in stores. 

That's the message of the #OptOutside campaign started last year by the outdoor recreation retailer, REI, and supported by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and hundreds of agencies across the U.S.

This year the Michigan DNR will waive park entry fees to all 103 state parks and recreation areas on the day after Thanksgiving. 

According to Maia Turek of the DNR, the agency does not get general tax dollars to support Michigan's parks.

"So for us to waive fees for a day is actually a pretty big deal because that's the money that sustains us," said Turek. "But we also know that our parks wouldn't exist and they wouldn't be as relevant if people don't appreciate them."

Turek hopes the campaign and the entrance fee waiver will encourage residents and visitors to spend time exploring Michigan's parks, trails, and waterways and let them know they are beautiful in all four seasons.

"Nothing sells our destinations like themselves," said Turek. "And you can't beat a hands-on, up-front, in-person experience with nature. You just can't."