GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Family, food and fireworks are three staples for most Fourth of July celebrations, but not everyone loves the giant booms and blasts that come with the holiday.
That’s why Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has a partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency to offer an alternative, working to help combat veterans who deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The DNR highlights 11 state parks that are far away from traditional municipal fireworks displays and enforces restrictions, allowing only small novelty fireworks such as fountains, sparklers and ground spinners within the parks. “Aerial fireworks” including Roman candles and bottle rockets are prohibited in all state parks.
“We ask all campers to abide by these regulations to help us accomplish our goal of providing an honorable and comfortable setting for our veterans and other campers,” the DNR says on its website.
Of the 11 parks, seven are in the Lower Peninsula, including Sleepy Hollow State Park in Clinton County and the Lake Hudson Recreation Area near Hillsdale. In the Upper Peninsula, Wells State Park in Menominee County and Tahaquamenon Falls State Park are considered quiet parks.
Campsites are not held solely for people dealing with PTSD. Other people looking for some quiet, including pet owners, are encouraged to seek refuge in state parks. Reservations must be made ahead of time and dates around summer holidays can go quickly.
Camping reservations for state parks can be made up to six months in advance through the DNR’s website.