Local activities restarting

MARQUETTE — Outdoor recreation opportunities were curtailed in the region during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are starting to reopen.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reported it has received questions from customers of camping sites, overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelters following their reopening on June 22.

The DNR said visitors still need the required Recreation Passport for vehicle entry to state parks, state forest campgrounds and state-managed boating access sites. The passport had been suspended the past three months to minimize face-to-face interactions and the exchange of money between visitors and staff to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Residents can purchase the passport when renewing their license plates through the Secretary of State for $12 or when visiting a state park for $17. Non-residents may purchase the passport online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or a state parks for a $34 annual pass or a $9 daily pass.

Most bathroom buildings and other state park amenities are open, but visitors are urged to call a park’s main number or visit its Facebook page where available for details.

Modifications to camping, overnight lodging facilities and day-use shelter reservations can be made by contacting the reservation center at MdDNRReservations.com or calling 800-447-2757. Additionally, the DNR has waived reduced-stay fees through Oct. 31.

Locally, green spaces in the city of Marquette — along with Marquette County, the cities of Negaunee and Ishpeming, Marquette Township, Chocolay Township, Sands Township, Negaunee Township and Ishpeming Township — were open at the end of May.

Jon Swenson, community services director for the city of Marquette, said all city playgrounds have been open as of June 5, including the Skate Plaza. Park restrooms began opening June 15 as crews could get to them and now are open. Tourist Park Campground opened June 8.

At this time all park facilities are open and the public is allowed to use all of them as long as they comply with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders, which mandate all persons not of the same household maintain the social distancing protocol of 6 feet.

Outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 people who socially distanced, except certain situations such as concerts, which are limited to 500 persons who stay 6 feet apart. Indoor numbers are at 50 persons socially distanced.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net


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