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Check Out a Good Book, Visit a State Park This Summer

Baldwin Public Library will be participating in the Park & Read program this summer, sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the Library of Michigan.

Spend a lazy day with a good book in the great outdoors this summer, courtesy of the Michgan Department of Natural Resources and the Library of Michigan.

Back for a fourth summer, both groups in collaboration with Macy's and the Hammock Company are offering Park & Read at the , which encourages readers to take their books out of the library and visit Michigan's 101 state parks.

Park & Read allows Baldwin Public Library cardholders from Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Bloomfield Hills to "check-out" a one-day pass that waives the Recreation Passport entry fee into any Michigan state park or recreation area, as well as the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing.

Cardholders can also score free access to more than 500 events taking place at state parks throughout the summer. Catering to readers, some parks are even offering hammock loans.

"The program was designed to give people a free trial to experience what a fantastic family and recreational resource their Michigan state parks and recreation areas can be," said Maia Stephens, recreational programmer for the Department of Natural Resouces's Parks and Recreation Division. "Besides, what's more relaxing than a day at the beach or under a shady tree with a good book?"

Passes are valid for seven days from the day you check out a book and can be used for a one-day pass at Michigan's 101 state parks and recreational areas. The program ends on Sept. 25.

"Michigan libraries have been at the forefront of quality family and educational programming," said State Librarian Nancy Robertson. "This partnership makes it easy for Michigan residents to combine a love of the great outdoors with a love of great literature, and our libraries are helping to make this happen."

The Michigan State Parks system is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2012. To purchase a Recreation Passport — which has replaced vehicle permits for park entry — visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275. Passports are $10 for vehicles and $5 for motorcycles.

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