The Summit

The 2020 Volunteer and Friends Group Summit was held on March 6th and 7th at the Ralph A. MacMullan Center in Roscommon. This yearly meeting, sponsored by the DNR, offers free registration to groups who support DNR properties throughout the state. This was a great opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. Click here for the agenda.

Four members of the Friends attended this year: Shannone Bondie, Tim and Kris Ianitelli, and Chris Zimmel. Scroll down to visit links to the various presentation.

Ron Olson, Chief of the Parks and Recreation Division presented "DNR Parks and Recreation Priorities and Updates". Did you know that Michigan is second in the nation for camp nights? Did you know that we hosted 27 million visitors in our state parks last year? And did you know that only 4% of the funding comes from the general fun?! Click here to view some other facts and figures from Ron's presentation.

Fundraising is always a challenge for any non-profit group. If you've viewed Ron's presentation, you can see how vital it is to the health of our parks that groups like ours take the initiative to help out as much as possible. Melissa Werkman of Green Square Consulting provided an overview: "New Trends in Fundraising - Corporate Social Responsibilities and Participatory Grant Making". Click here to view that presentation. In a breakout session, Melissa presented "Back to the Future: Sustainable Capacity from the Ground Up" linked here.

Purchase of the Recreation Passport, either at the time you renew your license plates or at a park, does a lot more than get you into parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas for free. It also funds grants available to Friends groups for projects! Matt Lincoln reviewed the process and the three Partnership Options available as well as requirements. Click here to view his presentation, "DNR Matching Grant Programs".

For a different view of fundraising, Patricia Berry of Patricia Berry Consulting presented "Finding Your Fundraising Style". Click here to see what she had to say.

The DNR has a Volunteer Vision for the Future - Maia Turek and Michelle Coss shared that with the group. Click here to view that vision. Maia and Michelle are always full of new and exciting ideas!