Maybury State Park – A Stepping Stones location

The outreach Stepping Stones program by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is designed to take urban youth to an outdoor setting while incorporating activities.

This article will explore Maybury State Park and the Stepping Stones program offered there. One goal of this program by Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is to have youth return every year to continue their outdoor education and potentially gain experience working in outdoor sciences. The Stepping Stones staff is the first step when it comes to encouraging outdoor activity and trying something new. This article series will explore the outreach conducted across five Michigan State Parks in the Southeast Michigan. These parks are: Island Lake Recreation Area, Maybury State Park, Proud Lake Recreation Area, Holly Recreation Area and Belle Isle State Park. In addition, five other parks across the state also hold Stepping Stones programs at Bay City Recreation Area, Sleepy Hollow State Park, Fort Custer Recreation Area, Muskegon State Park and P.J. Hoffmaster State Park.

Maybury State Park opened in 1975 on the grounds of a well-known Tuberculosis Sanitarium (1919 – 1969). The park was named in honor of real estate tycoon, William H. Maybury. He purchased and renovated the land for those who were suffering from the infectious and sometimes fatal disease. The park is 944 acres of rolling terrain, filled with both natural forest and open fields. On the 8 Mile Road entrance, you can also find the Sanitorium walk.  Activities the public can participate in include biking, cross country skiing, equestrian and fishing. Facilities also available to the public include a picnic area and playground.

The outreach Stepping Stones programs at Maybury State Park provides three different programs for inner city youth to enjoy the great outdoors. The staff explains skills necessary for fishing including how the chain of oxygen and fish play a major role in producing oxygen. All activities are complete in hopes to promote student interest in exploring a new environment will support and encouragement.

Another activity is archery; a popular offering among all guest, children and adults. Participants learn the various parts of the bow and the arrow, proper technique according to the National Archery in the Schools Program guidelines, using the 9 steps to the 10 ring. Most importantly, children learn all safety precautions to take when participating in archery. After a few practice rounds, the newly trained archers test their skills by targeting objects such as balloons and playing cards.

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