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National Park Service Partners with Michigan For Parks Accessibility

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The State of Michigan and the National Park Service (NPS) announced their partnership to develop safe, innovative technology to increase accessibility and equity in parks and recreational environments.

The partnership will begin with five national parks in Michigan: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historical Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

These parks will provide an opportunity to shape the tools that will make the national parks throughout the nation accessible and safe for everyone.

“Michigan’s national parks, lakeshores, and scenic trails are a cornerstone of our world-class travel offerings, support countless local economies, and are foundational to who we are as Michiganders. I am excited to collaborate with the National Park Service to ensure these natural treasures remain safe, open, and free for generations to come,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

“As we see more people make the switch to electric vehicles, our partnership will support the promotion and deployment of charging stations and other innovative mobility solutions at our national parks to grow our economy and make our public lands more accessible. At the state level, we will continue investing in our land and water with the recently enacted bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan, which includes the largest investments in water and parks in Michigan history.”

The state of Michigan and NPS have agreed to several initiatives that include:

  • Research innovative mobility projects that could improve environmental sustainability or visitor access, keep traffic congestion issues to a minimum, or improve safety in and around national parks in Michigan while also creating project proposals to implement these changes.
  • Explore and identify potential electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects within national and state parks to enable NPS visitors and staff access to charging stations.
  • Plan and execute knowledge and information sharing opportunities to support the advancement of innovative mobility and electrification initiatives related to public lands visitation and tourism.
  • Participate in community engagement efforts to develop plans and proposals for potential innovative mobility or electrification pilot projects.
  • Engage in general knowledge sharing and develop best practices to support the state’s goal of operationalizing the Lake Michigan Circuit to enable accessible and equitable electric vehicle tourism at the state and national parks around the Great Lakes.

“The partnership we celebrate today advances the National Park Service’s commitment to leveraging emerging technologies for cleaner and more sustainable transportation options that can also reduce congestion and improve experiences for park visitors. These efforts are bolstered by recent landmark legislation, including the Great American Outdoors Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, that encourages collaborative efforts to make infrastructure improvements in national parks,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams.

The partnership is included in the cross-departmental collaboration within the state of Michigan.

The departments collaborating with the initiative are the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, part of the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor Economic Development, and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.

In 2020, Michigan recorded 3.2 million park visitors.

This article originally appeared on 9&10 News.

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Modern Campground

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: National Park Service Partners with Michigan For Parks Accessibility! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/michigan/national-park-service-partners-with-michigan-for-parks-accessibility/