LANSING, MICH. — Shopping for gear, beer and other Michigan-made goodies now comes with a potential perk: giving back to Michigan’s great outdoors.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ “These Goods Are Good for Michigan” campaign features partnerships with businesses seeking to sell products specially designated to raise funds for state parks, trails and waterways.
Since launching in 2017 with its first partner, Traverse City-based winery Chateau Grand Traverse, the campaign has raised more than $100,000 for state park facilities and programs. Over the years the campaign has grown to include other Michigan-made products like beer, outdoors gear and apparel, coffee beans, and even insect repellent.
“It’s kind of just been an organic growth,” said Maia Turek, resource development specialist for the DNR. “Every time we add a new partner, several more partners connect with us.”
Turek said each partnership begins with a conversation between the DNR and that particular business to find out what aspect of Michigan’s parks are important to them, such as trail maintenance or accessibility.
“Every one of those businesses has chosen something different that they or their staff are passionate about,” she said. “It feels like matchmaking.”
“These Goods Are Good” products right now include vintage-inspired state park stickers from Yooper Shirts, specialty coffee from M36 Coffee Roasters, and Bob Ross’ “Happy Little Trees” themed T-shirts from the company Peninsulas.
The most recent addition to the line-up was the service Arrive, an outdoors gear rental company now donating 10 percent of its affiliate-link proceeds to Michigan state parks.
The program aims to be a win-win not only for the DNR and their partnering businesses, but also for consumers who love Michigan’s state parks.
“You can feel good about knowing where you’re spending money,” Turek said. “You can feel good about knowing where those funds are going, and that it helps something that you’re passionate about as well.”
Shoppers can find a list of current partners, which can change from year to year, or even seasonally, on the DNR’s These Goods Are Good for Michigan page.
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