A shirt from Peninsulas features Petoskey State Park. Photo courtesy Peninsulas
A shirt from Peninsulas features Petoskey State Park.

The Michigan DNR is highlighting small businesses that best embody what it means to be a Michigander through a program supporting state parks, trails, and waterways.

MICHIGAN—The state of Michigan is known for its strong work ethic and iconic businesses like the Big Three automakers, Meijer, Kellogg’s, and more.

But the state has also become a hub for many unique small businesses , including a growing contingent focused on supporting, celebrating, and highlighting the great outdoors in Pure Michigan.

Several of these companies have partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in recent years as part of the ‘These Goods are Good for Michigan’ program, which fosters promotional partnerships between companies and the agency.

The DNR is currently spotlighting nine businesses, while also seeking new partnerships, according to Resource Development Specialist Maia Turek.

“We’re always open to new businesses,” she said to The ‘Gander. “We’re always interested in learning about partners who want to help support Michigan’s parks, trails, and waterways.”

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The program requires a minimum annual donation to the DNR of $500, Turek said, along with a promotional agreement.

Retailers and businesses that distribute across the state of Michigan are among those considered, as are websites that promote activities or goods spotlighting the state of Michigan.

The nine companies being spotlighted by the DNR heading into this year’s holiday season as part of the “Good for Michigan” program, are as follows:

Peninsulas Apparel- Offering official state parks themed merchandise, 10% of Peninsulas’ sales directly support Michigan state parks.

Among the goods offered are t-shirts, towels, kitchen and barware, decals, stickers and pins, along with unique art prints and goods from partnerships with artists across the state.

Check out their wares at the “Good for Michigan” website here, or at ShopPeninsulas.com.

Yooper Shirts- An official partner of the DNR based in the Upper Peninsula, Yooper Shirts donates 10% of the revenue of its DNR licensed items to Michigan state parks, trails and waterways.

Coffee mugs, state park decals, outerwear, and more are among the items on its store, found here.

Michigan DNR Centennial- Patches, stickers, merchandise, and more are available on the DNR’s Centennial shop, which can be found here.

Arrive Outdoors- One of Turek’s favorite partners, Arrive outdoors is an outdoor gear rental service that allows patrons to reserve camping equipment, hiking gear, skiing and snowboarding sets, and much more for surprisingly low prices. The site offers free shipping and free returns; learn more here.

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Michigan Parks Coffee- Offering signature flavors like S’more Roast, Paddler’s Brew, and the Dark Sky Blend, this coffee company donates 50 cents for every bag sold to improve recreation and youth education in the Michigan state parks, trails and waterways. Check them out here.

“They’ve been a great partner,” Turek said about the company, whose products can also be found locally.

“They were very supportive of state parks and wanted to reach out to us to work with us.”

Michigan Runner Girl- A lifestyle brand and online community of runners, Michigan Runner Girl offers running inspired clothing and accessories, as well as a podcast. They also host events.

More info can be found on their website here.

Michigan Arctic Grayling Initiative- An online store with designs supporting the restoration of the Arctic Grayling, a small, leaping fish with a sail-like dorsal fin that died out in the Great Lakes State in the 1930s.

The fish could be restored to its original habitat in Michigan sometime in the next three to five years according to Todd Grischke, assistant chief of the fisheries division for the Michigan DNR.

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Chateau Grand Traverse- The family-owned, world-class winery in Traverse City has created a “Wines of the Great Outdoors” series to support the DNR, with 50% of proceeds being donated.

The wines can be found at your favorite retailer, and can also be purchased here.

Drunk’n Mosquito- Based in Chelsea, Drunk’n Mosquito offers eco-friendly candles and bug sprays with natural ingredients like essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin.

More information can be found on its website here, and its products are available from southeast Michigan all the way to the UP.