Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan parks and libraries partner to offer free passes to hundreds of state parks and cultural destinations

Fourth Graders eligible for special access to Michigan’s national Parks and Lakeshores 

LANSING, May 18, 2016 – Library card holders statewide can once again get free or discounted access to hundreds of Michigan’s state parks, historic sites, cultural attractions, campgrounds and recreation areas through the second annual Michigan Activity Pass program, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (mParks) and The Library Network. This year’s program provides a new opportunity for fourth graders, offering them free access to Michigan’s national parks and lakeshores.

The Michigan Activity Pass is offered through MI Big Green Gym, a collaboration between Blue Cross, mParks and the DNR that encourages Michigan residents to use state parks and recreation areas to be active in support of a healthier lifestyle. Beginning May 24, cardholders of participating libraries can print a free one-day pass, either at home or at their local library, which can be used at any of Michigan’s 102 state parks or 138 state forest campgrounds. The program also offers free or discounted admission to 170 historical and cultural destinations in Michigan. New this year, parents or educators of fourth graders can access the National Park Service’s Every Kid in a Park initiative, which provides free passes to Michigan’s national parks and lakeshores, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historic Park, North County National Scenic Trails, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

“Michigan is home to some tremendous state and national parks, and exploring these areas is a great way to get exercise while enjoying the outdoors.” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director of Community Responsibility at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Blue Cross is proud to support the Michigan Activity Pass in making these destinations an inexpensive way for Michigan residents to stay healthy and active this summer.”

DNR Chief of Parks and Recreation Ron Olson said, “It is so important for kids to have shared experiences with their family – both educational and physical. The Michigan Activity Pass gives parents a fun, low-cost way for kids to experience Michigan’s historic and cultural resources while spending time with family.”

“The Michigan Activity Pass is a great way to encourage library patrons to get out and enjoy the natural beauty the Great Lakes State has to offer,” said Library Network Executive Director Jim Pletz. Thanks to our collaboration with Blue Cross and the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Activity Pass usage has grown by more than 300 percent in the last year. We are thrilled to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service by welcoming our state’s national parks into the Michigan Activity Pass program.”

For more information on the Michigan Activity Pass, including a complete list of supported venues and participating libraries, visit michiganactivitypass.info.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.

Photo credit: Ray Dumas 

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