The Great Outdoors

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When June finally arrives, there is nothing better than spending time outdoors, especially when the weather begins to heat up and the first day of summer is just around the corner. In 2019, the U.S. Senate designated the month of June as Great Outdoors Month. According to nps.gov, observance of Great Outdoors Week (the first week in June) began under President Clinton in 1998 and has grown under subsequent administrations into a month-long celebration.

Michigan is a perfect place to celebrate Great Outdoors Month with all of its rugged, natural beauty – lakes, walking and biking trails, beautiful parks, camping areas and beaches. And there is so much to do right here in our backyard! Fun fact: Genesee County has Michigan’s biggest park system, with more than 11,000 acres of parks?

How will you celebrate the great outdoors this month? Here are just a few of the things I enjoy doing.

One of my favorite places to go is Flushing County Park, where I can take a walk along a paved path by the Flint River. There are also great nature trails at Linden County Park and Clover Beach. I love to meet my friends at different parks to get some exercise and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. In Fenton, you will find a hidden gem – the Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary – where you can take your dog for a walk on 4.5 miles of trails past beautiful wetlands and see a variety of bird species. Don’t forget the binoculars!

I also celebrate summer outdoors by spending time on many area golf courses. I especially enjoy golfing in the Ladies Golf League at Fenton Farms Golf Club in Fenton Township. I plan to try something new this summer: disc golf at the Mott Park Disc Golf Course, which is located on the grounds of the former Mott Park Golf Course.

For me, one of the best ways to observe Great Outdoors Month is with a ride in a hot-air balloon for a breathtaking view of nature from high in the sky. One of my fondest memories is a hot-air balloon ride I took a few years ago. We launched at Seven Lakes Park in Holly and made a gentle (but exciting!) “splash and dash” on a lake, then ended the experience with reciting the Balloonist’s Prayer and a champagne toast.

My five-year-old grandson, Elijah, loves to be outdoors and we spend a lot of time taking walks outside and going to the park where he will spend hours swinging and climbing up the monkey bars. A picnic lunch in the park with him is one of my favorite things to do.

I also enjoy the great outdoors by planting flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. I spend a lot of time at the many local greenhouses and nurseries in search of herbs and plants to make my outdoor space spring to life. I love to grow veggies in a container garden on my deck.

What’s the very best way to celebrate? Reading a good book outside on my deck on a sunny day in June, sipping on a refreshing glass of iced tea and watching the flowers grow!

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