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Michigan DNR partnerships offer a chance to connect

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking businesses and organizations interested in helping people enjoy and appreciate Michigan’s natural and cultural resources through sponsorship and partnership opportunities — one example is supporting the Iron Belle Trail, pictured here in Gogebic County.

LANSING – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, this year celebrating 100 years of caring for Michigan’s outdoors and history, invites businesses and organizations to get involved as sponsors and partners in conserving natural and cultural resources, while connecting with the millions of people who enjoy these resources.

With less than 15% of the DNR’s annual budget coming from general tax dollars, new and creative revenue sources are vital to fulfilling the department’s mission.

“We are open to a wide variety of sponsorships and partnerships to help people enjoy and appreciate Michigan’s natural and cultural resources and, at the same time, highlight the many businesses that are growing the outdoor recreation industry and the state’s economy,” said Kristin Phillips, DNR Marketing and Outreach Division chief. “It’s also the DNR’s centennial year, which brings additional opportunities.”

Examples of sponsorship/partnership opportunities include:

— Joining the “These Goods are Good for Michigan” program. This collection of partners works with the DNR to raise awareness and support through revenue sharing — on products or services of interest to outdoor enthusiasts — for state parks, trails and waterways, and fish and wildlife species restoration. If interested in becoming a partner, contact Maia Turek at 989-225-8573.

— Expanding visitor services and experiences throughout the DNR parks and recreation system by becoming a concessionaire. “Outdoorpreneur” partners include concessions, restaurants, gift shops, rental outfitters, water park operators, guide services and many others. Find current concession opportunities at Michigan.gov/StateParkConcessions or contact Lori Green at 989-275-5151, ext. 2722006, for more information.

— Sponsoring habitat projects on state-managed public lands through the Adopt-a-Game-Area program and helping grassland wildlife thrive. Support of this program provides valuable habitat for a wide range of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, cottontail rabbits, songbirds and pollinators.

— Becoming a partner in the Iron Belle Trail Fund Campaign, which aims to create a seamless, 2,000-mile trail — with two distinct routes, one for bicycling and one for hiking — that connects Michigan from Belle Isle in Detroit to Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula.

— Helping tell the story of the DNR over the past 100 years — with co-messaging, social media partnerships and more — as the department commemorates its centennial anniversary throughout 2021. Contact Dustin Isenhoff at 517-284-6248 to discuss how businesses or organizations can get involved in the DNR centennial celebration.

Businesses and organizations interested in these or other opportunities can contact Kristin Phillips at 517-284-6065 to discuss.

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