Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is studying a report on Michigan’s parks by a panel that’s advocating creation of a handful of signature recreation areas, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.

The panel was appointed by Snyder to examine state parks and outdoor recreation in Michigan,

The Free Press story says the report calls for “better funding for parks, clearer benchmarks on the results parks are expected to produce and development of a handful of signature parks, with an impact similar to Chicago’s Millennium Park, in cities such as Detroit.”

Some other recommendations, according to the state’s website:

  • Identify and protect important natural, cultural, historic and prehistoric resources for the enjoyment and education of Michigan’s residents and visitors, and expand stewardship of these resources.
  • Diversify funding and use new criteria to target investments. This includes a recommendation that the state move the Recreation Passport to an “opt-out” system of funding, and pursue expanded revenue bonding authority to address a backlog of priority maintenance and improvement needs at outdoor recreation facilities. In addition, the report recommends re-establishing the State Parks Foundation to accept private donations toward parks projects.
  • Give high priority to investment in the development of regional connected trail networks. The report urges development of a comprehensive trails database available through an easily accessible platform.

The entire report is available online here.