Park Association Gets New Look; Encourages Michiganders to ‘Come Out and Play’

 

Kayaking simulations, hula-hooping, parachute games and more filled the state Capitol lawn last Wednesday.

Over 1,500 kids from across the state gathered for the fourth annual Come Out and Play: A Day at the Capitol, which was hosted by the Michigan Recreation & Park Association (MRPA) along with the Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was a sponsor.

The MRPA's new logo, unveiled last week at an event at the Capitol.
The MRPA’s new logo, unveiled last week at an event at the Capitol.

The day serves as an advocacy and outdoor education event for the organization. This year provided the MRPA an opportunity to celebrate its 80th anniversary, while unveiling a new logo and brand identity.

Sean Fletcher, MRPA President and the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Kalamazoo, said the organization worked with creative agency Factory Detroit on the rebranding. The group’s past work includes the popular “Pure Michigan” campaign.

Fletcher said a new MParks logo and updated branding will help create more excitement and awareness around parks, recreation, and natural resources in the state.

DSCN2467He said a new “Come Out and Play” tagline perfectly encapsulates the organization’s mission of encouraging state residents to play, camp, and enjoy nature whenever they get the opportunity.

“That’s really our focus,” Fletcher said.

Getting kids and families outside is an important way to combat increasing levels of inactivity. Parks are an ideal way for everyone to get outside and get more exercise, Fletcher explained.

“It’s very affordable to go to a local park and just play,” he said.DSCN2445

Local parks also give urban dwellers an important connection to nature and provide employment opportunities and can spur economic development.

“Parks and recreation is a quality of life issue and it’s also an economic issue,” he said.

Musician Taylor Taylor signing autographs for her new fans.
Musician Taylor Taylor signing autographs for her new fans.

Looking for recreation opportunities nearby or for an upcoming Michigan vacation? Fletcher said local parks and recreation department websites are a great place to start, as well as the Department of Natural Resources website and the Pure Michigan website.

Read more about Factory Detroit’s work on the MParks rebranding and take a listen to Lansing musician Taylor Taylor, who recorded a song titled “Come Out and Play” and sang it at the unveiling on Wednesday.

Watch our coverage of last year’s event on the Capitol lawn:

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Photo credit: Julie Bitely

 

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