Michigan's second Pure Award winner announced

The Pure Award acknowledges outstanding tourism industry stewardship of Michigan’s natural, cultural and heritage resources.

The second annual Pure Award was presented to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park at the 2017 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit on March 21. The Pure Award recognizes Michigan tourism entities that have pioneered the incorporation of innovative and exemplary best practices in natural, cultural and/or heritage stewardship into their daily operations. The award is an initiative of the Resources and Environment Implementation Committee of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan, whose goal is for Michigan to: “Be internationally recognized for our stewardship of – and rich opportunities to experience – our natural, cultural and heritage resources.”

Headlands International Dark Sky Park was selected as this year’s winner based on its identification of the night sky as a vast and vanishing natural resource that is essential to today’s global conversation about habitat protection, energy resource management and tourism. Located in the northwestern Lower Peninsula, Headlands became one of the first ten International Dark Sky Parks in the world in 2011, a prestigious designation bestowed by the International Dark Sky Association after a rigorous application and review process. As a result, the Headlands will stay dark and protected forever. The park is home to approximately 550 acres of pristine woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and many species of rare and endangered plant life.

A truly collaborative effort, designation of the park represents the vision and cooperation of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Village of Mackinaw City, Emmet County, Little Traverse Conservancy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This year’s Pure Award was created by glassblowers at The Henry Ford and is a stylized version of the Headlands Dark Sky logo. The award incorporates the North Star, with black representing the dark sky and the silver leaf embellishment representing the stars in our galaxy.


Pure Award 2017

The 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan (MTSP) was facilitated by the MSU Department of Community Sustainability faculty member Sarah Nicholls in cooperation with MSU Extension Educators, Bonnie Wichtner-Zoia and Ginger Hentz.  

Dr. Nicholls continues to lead efforts to implement the plan on behalf of the Michigan Travel Commission and tourism industry members from across the state.  For more information about the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan or the Pure Award, please contact Dr. Sarah Nicholls at nicho210@msu.edu.

Michigan State University Extension has experts in tourism working throughout Michigan that can assist communities and counties in tourism development. For more information, contact your local MSU Extension office or on the web at MSU Extension Tourism.

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