mParks is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Healthy Recreation Catalyst Award! Of the 31 applicants, six projects, totaling $15,000, were funded. The Healthy Recreation Catalyst Award aims to implement projects focused on getting people active and healthy. The award is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and available to any member of mParks.

“Come Out and Swim” – City of Livonia, $3,000. 

Three parts:

- Free swim lessons for kids in grades K-6. Program will be designed to serve 120 kids.

- Low cost water aerobics classes for put to 30 adults for six weeks.

- Youth and Fmaily triathlon, with free training sessions. Expectation is 70 participants.

City of Livonia is active customer.


“’Board’ Walk at the Hive” – Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority, $3,500. 

The Hive is a youth service center, and this project would develop an outdoor space shared by The Hive youth and the community at large. Will host multi-generational programs. Project has raised community funds to support as well. Ann Conklin strongly supports. My caveat to this is that the agency must agree that our funds be used to support program costs, not construction.

Howell Area Parks and Recreation Authority includes City of Howell, parts of Genoa Township, Oceola Township and Marion Township (boundaries consistent with Howell Public Schools district). All but Oceola are active customers.


“Hickory Hills Disc Golf Expansion” – City of Traverse City, $1,000.

Just what it sounds like, they’re going expand the Hickory Hills Disc Golf course. Very popular, highly utilized destination, and this is the cheapest request we received.

Traverse City is not an active customer.


“Get Outside and Play!” – City of Mackinac Island Recreation Department, $3,000.

Support a series of clinics with experts in several outdoor pursuits, introducing residents to new outdoor activities. Intent is to get residents engaged in new activities, thereby increasing utilization of existing park/outdoor recreation assets. Partners include Great Turtle Kayak (kayaking), Playmakers Fitness Foundation (walking and running, presented at the school for families), and Northbound Outfitters (cross country skiing and snowshoeing).

City of Mackinac Island is active customer.


“Eddy Discovery Center Nature Play Area and Accessible Trail” – DNR, $3,000.

Improve accessibility for children age 3-12 to a nature-based play area, and make a ADA-accessible trail loop through an outdoor natural setting. This is much bigger project than $3,000, but they’ve secured several other funders to support ($5,000 from Waterloo Natural History Assocation; $2,000 from 5 Healthy Towns; $5,000 match from DNR). Possibility our award could increase likelihood of $10,000 investment from Chelsea Community Foundation.


“Healthy Lives and Happy Trails of Barry County” – Barry County Parks and Recreation, $1,500 (requested $3,000).

Barry County Parks and Recreation collaboration with Barry-Eaton Health Department on a day-long event designed to promote outdoor recreation and good nutrition. Other partners include Barry County YMCA and the VFW 8260. Health department will be promoting the SuperTracker app (app used for activity/behavior tracking for their B Healthy Community program.

Barry County and Barry-Eaton Health Dept are both not active customers (though they do carry Accident Fund workers comp!).