Michigan Makes It Easier to Snag Best Camp Sites, Saginaw Library Recognized

For Nov. 3, 2017

1 – A new Michigan reservation policy is meant to make it easier for people to secure campsites at many of the state’s most-visited parks.

The new Department of Natural Resources policy that took effect this week encourages people to firm up their reservations further in advance of planned camping dates.

Campers still can make reservations up to six months in advance.


Credit: Tony Failoa

The new structure retains a $10 cost to cancel or modify a camping reservation. It adds an additional incremental fee based on the length of time between the date of the initial reservation and the planned arrival date.

Rather than holding onto several blocks of campsites at a campground – or in some cases, multiple campgrounds – the new policy encourages campers to finalize their plans as soon as possible. So a reservation held for up to two months will incur a 10 percent fee to modify or cancel, and one held for longer than five months will incur a 40 percent fee to modify or cancel.

For more information, see Michigan.gov/camping.

2 – 
The Hoyt Library in Saginaw was honored by Gov. Rick Snyder for an energy project.

The Governor’s Energy Excellence Award was given to eight individuals and organizations for efforts to reduce energy waste.

The winners and finalists were announced at a ceremony in Detroit last month.

Hoyt was recognized as a finalist for the Best Public Project. Officials say the 126-year-old library was costly to operate, subject to inconsistent temperatures and unchecked humidity was creating serious mold problems.

With help from a Consumers Energy audit and grant, the library invested in a high-efficiency boiler, a more efficient chiller, automation controls for its HVAC system, and a new and improved air quality system. The improvements are expected to save on annual natural gas costs and improve the building’s environment for staff, patrons, and the books it houses.

Winning energy solutions ranged from improving existing structures with energy-efficient, state-of-the-art heating, cooling and lighting systems to constructing new buildings.Consumers Energy won for the Best Communication or Education Program.


– Mr. Great Lakes is heard at 9:30 a.m. Fridays in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR. Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes



Mich Enviro Report: First Time Campers Program, Fish Advisory & Beetles

A mostly critter contribution to Friday Edition, Delta College Q-90.1 FM, for July 15, 2011 …


Here’s a deal that’s hard to resist.

Travel Michigan, the state Department of Natural Resources and Gander Mountain have launched a “First Time Campers” program.

For $20, you get to use all the gear, guides and good times you can handle for a two-night stay. Show up at a state park, and a park representative will walk you through the process of setting up camp.

The gear provided includes a tent, tarp, two camp chairs, flashlight, lantern, stove, four hot dog or marshmellow cookers and two fishing poles.

Almost 20 state parks are participating in the program. Those include the Bay City Recreation Area, Hartwick Pines, Port Crescent State Park, Sleeper State Park.

To sign up for the First Time Campers program, you need to contact each park directly.


If you catch any fish as a First Time Camper, make sure to follow the state’s latest fish advisory guide.

The 2011-2012 guide (pdf) has been released by the Michigan Department of Community Health. The update includes nine changes to advisories, two that were relaxed and seven that were expanded.

Advisories in the guides are based on toxic chemicals found in fish. Some types of fish from some locations can be harmful to eat if eaten too often, due to levels of mercury, dioxin, and PCBs..

The guide is available online at michigan.gov/eatsafefish and includes information on fish from Michigan rivers and lakes. The state website also includes tips for choosing fish at the supermarket and restaurants.


The Khapra (cap-ra) beetle, from India, may be the next invasive pest to wreak havoc in Michigan.

A few of the beetles were found recently by U.S. Customs agents at border crossings in Detroit and Port Huron, according to The Detroit News.

The beetle is a threat to the state’s agricultural industry, officials say. It feeds on any dried plant or animal matter, but prefers grains like wheat, barley, corn and rice.

Much like the emerald ash borer has wiped out million of trees throughout the state, the Khapra beetle could wipe out soybean, wheat and corp crops, officials say.

For now, border agents are keeping an eye out for the bugs, and no infestations have been reported.

— Photo by Larry Page

Mich Enviro Report: Hazardous Materials & the Backyard Campout

As heard on Delta College Q-90.1 FM, June 17, 2011 (recorded in my home studio this time, with a little too much echo) …


June 25 is the day to properly dispose of unwanted household hazardous materials in Bay County.

Some household hazardous materials can contaminate of groundwater, well water, or other water sources when spilled on the ground, poured down the drain, or placed in trash containers.

The county is holding a Household Hazardous Material Collection and Disposal Program on June 25. The program is free, and sponsored by the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation and the Bay County Health Department.

The collections will be held in Bay City and Pinconning. But you must call ahead first to schedule a drop-off. The number is 895-4006.

Acceptable items include battery acid, drain cleaner, weed killer and oil-based paint.

Some materials are not accepted. To schedule a time to drop off your materials, or for more information, call 895-4006.


June 25 also is time for the Great American Backyard Campout.

The National Wildlife Federation event encourages parents and kids to skip the TV or computer and spend a night under the stars.

Studies show that the Average American child spends more than seven hours per day in front of electronic media.

Studies also show that outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances creativity and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance, according to NWF.

For the event, you can camp in your backyard, organize a campout, or join other organized campouts.

You can log on to backyardcampout.org for more information. The site includes recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, campfire songs and games, nature activities and more.

— Photo by Kristin Johnson


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