Crain’s Detroit Business reported that two of Michigan’s national parks saw record numbers of visitors in 2015:
The National Parks Service says Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula and River Raisin Battlefield Park in southeastern Michigan set visitation records in 2015. The two parks, along with Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan’s northeastern coast, had more visitors through November 2015 than in 2014 and saw double-digit increases in visitors.
…The increased popularity of national parks in Michigan mirrors a nationwide trend: Overall visits to national parks are expected to reach 300 million in 2015. Last year’s figure was a record 293 million.
The park system turns 100 next year, and the Obama administration and Republican lawmakers have different ideas about what to do. Both parties agree the country’s national parks and historic sites could use some sprucing up but the question is how much of a dent Congress will make in a system-wide maintenance backlog with an estimated $11.5 billion price tag. President Barack Obama has recommended spending an additional $1.5 billion on the parks over a three-year period. Republican leaders in Congress have a smaller birthday present in mind.
Here’s hoping that our elected officials can come together to keep our National Park system strong!
Lots more on Michigan’s state & national parks on Michigan in Pictures!