The Department of Natural Resources, Hudsonville Ice Cream, Pure Michigan, General RV and Meijer have teamed up to help Michigan residents get a tasty jump on summer fun. On Saturday, May 19, they will roll out Pure Michigan Caramel Apple – the new, limited-edition ice cream flavor of Michigan state parks – as part of the Passport to Summer RV tour.
The RV will be at Wayland General RV on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; at the Wixom Founders Day celebration on Sunday, May 20, from noon to 4 p.m.; and will then wind its way through dozens of other locations like the Grand Prix on Belle Isle, the Manistee Forest Fest and the Farmington Hills Campout, before making the last scheduled stop on Sept. 3 at the Labor Day Bridge Walk.
“Pure Michigan is all about promoting the quality of life we enjoy in Michigan to visitors and residents alike,” said Elizabeth Parkinson, senior vice president of marketing and communications at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state agency responsible for the Pure Michigan campaign. “Our state parks and recreation areas, as well as Michigan-based companies like Hudsonville Ice Cream and Meijer, contribute to making this state a great place to live, work and play. We are excited to be part of the effort to get that story out through this RV tour.”
The partnership’s goal is to bring a custom-decorated, 32-foot recreational vehicle carrying free samples of Pure Michigan Caramel Apple ice cream to community festivals, special events and Meijer store locations across Lower Michigan.
The special ice cream flavor, developed exclusively for the DNR, evolved from a recipe contest opened to Michigan residents earlier this year and was chosen by a panel of judges in February.
Dave Peterson, Meijer public relations manager, said his company is proud to help showcase the special places and flavors of Michigan.
“We understand how important our state parks, forest campgrounds and cultural heritage are to our communities,” Peterson said. “This is a fun opportunity to combine Michigan-made products with the message about all the great parks and outdoor recreation this state has to offer, in a unique way.”
According to Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division, representatives will hand out ice cream at various tour stops while also offering information about the DNR’s popular Recreation 101 education/outreach program and the state’s Recreation Passport.
“We plan to visit as many places as we can this summer, committing ‘random acts of ice cream’ with Hudsonville and letting people know that our beautiful state parks offer unique opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy Michigan’s woods and waters,” Olson said.
“This tour is a terrific way for the DNR to talk with people who love the outdoors, as well as those folks who don’t have as much experience out in nature,” he explained. “If you want to learn about Michigan’s awesome outdoor recreation – biking, hiking, fishing, camping and more – our Recreation 101 program can easily help you get started through the more than 400 events taking place this summer.”
Dennis Anderson, marketing manager at General RV, said everyone at his company is excited about the 2012 tour.
“It’s our second year as part of the tour,” Anderson explained. “We are honored to support what we believe is Michigan’s greatest attraction – our beautiful Michigan state parks.”
Keep tabs on the Passport to Summer RV tour schedule of stops and events at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport and through tour updates and photos posted on the DNR’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/midnr) and Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/michiganDNR). A complete list of Recreation 101 events is available at www.michigan.gov/rec101.
Recreation 101 events are free, but entry into all state parks and recreation areas requires a Recreation Passport.
The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport. For information on Passport Perks shopping discounts or how businesses and retailers can enroll in the program, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.
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