Do you have a bucket list of places you plan to visit this summer in Michigan?

Many of us will spend our precious weekends and vacations relaxing on Michigan beaches, boating on the Great Lakes, taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of Michigan’s cherished festivals, or trail hiking, dune climbing, or canoeing down a scenic river in one of our picturesque parks.  There is so much to do, see, and enjoy in our beautiful state.

The DTE Energy Foundation is doing its part to protect and preserve Michigan’s natural assets. For example, the Foundation is partnering with the National Cherry Festival to sponsor the Cherry Royale Parade.  And for the fourth consecutive year, we are working with the Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) to bring a comprehensive recycling program to the festival, which started July 1, in an effort to reduce waste.  Over the nine-day event, the Cherry Festival attracts about 500,000 tourists to Traverse City.  Last year the Cherry Festival recycling program collected more than 27 tons of waste with more than 21 tons (77 percent) diverted from landfills, an improvement from 2014, when the recycling program diverted 63 percent of the waste from landfills.

The efforts to help make the National Cherry Festival greener are part of a broader statewide initiative.  The Foundation supports recycling activities at several large events, including the Lakeshore Arts Festival in Muskegon in July, the Detroit Jazz Fest in September, and the Grand JazzFest in Grand Rapids in August.

The Foundation is also impacting the health and longevity of rivers, lakes and forests in Northern Michigan.  This past week, the Foundation publicly presented the Traverse City-based Conservation Resource Alliance’s (CRA) River Care program with a $150,000 grant to help restore and protect northwest Michigan waterways.  This three-year grant builds on the success of a 14-year partnership between CRA and the Foundation. Since the inception of the partnership, the Foundation has contributed more than $500,000 to CRA to support watershed conservation initiatives on 14 watersheds in 13 counties, helping to build bridges, remove barriers, improve aquatic habitat, and enhance recreational access.

“The impact of the DTE Energy Foundation’s support makes for our northern communities is huge,” said Amy Beyer, Director of CRA. “The Foundation is a committed partner that is making a real difference for natural resources throughout the region and state.”

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