Project Rustic: A big idea becomes a big adventure for AmeriCorps member

Courtesy Photo provided by Michigan DNR Paige, a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving with the DNR, is embarking on a statewide RV tour of Michigan’s rustic state forest campgrounds. She is shown here with her dog Willow.

Meet Paige, a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member serving with the DNR, who is embarking on a statewide tour of Michigan’s rustic state forest campgrounds.

Project Rustic is part of a strategy for improving information for rustic and backcountry travelers. This statewide RV tour — the RV should hit the road starting next week — was Paige’s brainchild while serving her first term with the DNR last year. She felt one of the best ways to capture the details of each place was to experience it herself.

“Today’s traveler turns to the internet first for information, which is why the DNR has prioritized improving the depth and accuracy of data available,” said Ami Van Antwerp, a DNR communications specialist. “Having Paige take the lead made total sense because she represents the next generation of travelers and is taking that unique perspective with her.”

Throughout her five-month tour, Paige — along with her four-legged companion, Willow — will be living in an RV provided by General RV and traveling to Michigan’s most remote places. Her mission is to collect GPS data for mapping, update the DNR’s photo library, and evaluate the department’s existing directional signs that tell campers where to go and the interpretive signs that explain an area’s or site’s history. It’s all part of providing the best backcountry and rustic camping experience for visitors — both while they’re planning their camp and when they’re on site.

Follow Paige on the Project Rustic webpage, where she’ll share tips and tricks for traveling rustic and more. Learn more about Michigan’s state forest campgrounds and trails to plan your own adventure at Michigan.gov/StateForestCampgrounds.

For more information, contact Ami Van Antwerp at 517-927-5059.


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