Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan collaborates with Peter White Public Library, state parks on Park and Read program

Annual program offers state park passes for Michigan residents in support of MI Big Green Gym program

June 19, 2014

MARQUETTE — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Michigan Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) and Michigan Public Libraries will kick off the sixth annual Park and Read program in Marquette on Thursday, June 26 at 2 p.m. at Peter White Public Library. Park and Read offers cardholders at hundreds of participating Michigan libraries a one-day, state park pass to explore any of Michigan’s 102 state parks at no cost simply by visiting the library’s circulation desk.

Park and Read is a component of MI Big Green Gym, a partnership between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the MRPA and the DNR that encourages Michigan residents to use the state’s parks and recreation facilities to increase physical activity. Park and Read enables library cardholders to “check out” a park pass that is valid for vehicle entry into any Michigan state park or recreation area for up to seven days after checkout.

“Park and Read is a program that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is excited to be involved with to encourage people to get out and get active in Michigan’s beautiful state parks,” said Suzanne Miller Allen, director of Community Responsibility – Outstate Michigan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “This program not only encourages Michigan residents to visit their local library, but also creates an excellent opportunity to experience and explore over 100 state parks while striving to live a healthier lifestyle.”

“We have worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association and the Department of Natural Resources in recent years, and with those positive experiences, we are eager to collaborate again,” said Pam Christensen, library director, Peter White Library. “Park and Read has been a very successful program in the past that offers an opportunity, free of charge, for residents to experience some of Michigan’s most beautiful venues that we hope continues to be enjoyed by many this year.”

Park and Read passes also allow visitors to participate in Recreation 101 classes offered at many Michigan state parks. Upon entry to the park, the classes are free and feature outdoor recreation programming designed to help beginners get started in a variety of activities such as kayaking, windsurfing, geocaching and camping.

For more information on Park and Read, including a complete list of events and participating libraries, visit

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and