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Michigan Closes State Camp Sites Until April 13

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Image credit: Laura Herberg / WDET

Michiganders will be able to enter state parks for hiking, running or other activities, but camp sites will be closed and park staffing will be limited.

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In response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is prohibiting camping and limiting other park activities in the state through April 13th.

The new rules will have some impact on day-use-only areas like Belle Isle.

People are asked to keep a reasonable social distance and not have group gatherings whatsoever.” - Ron Olson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The ban prohibits camping in cabins, at regular campsites and rustic “hike-in-only” sites. Shelter use will not be permitted and restroom facilities will be closed. The Belle Isle Aquarium and the Conservatory were temporarily closed starting March 14th.

People can use trails, they can launch a boat, they can go fishing, hiking, running or biking or whatever,” says Ron Olson, Chief of Parks and Recreation for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “But people are asked to keep a reasonable social distance and not have group gatherings whatsoever.”

Whitmer’s order allows Michiganders to go outside for exercise and life-sustaining activities like grocery shopping and healthcare.

Olson says during this time park headquarters’ will be closed and there will be limited staff onsite. Because of this, people will be able to enter parks for free. He says while most facilities will be shuttered, vaulted toilets in day use areas will be open.

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Laura Herberg, Community Reporter

Laura Herberg is a Community Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here. She has reported since 2010 without owning a car.

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This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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