This Master Plan is for Benzie County in the State of Michigan.
Benzie County includes twelve Townships, six villages, one city, and extensive State and Federal lands (See the map on page 46). This master plan addresses the maintenance and sustainability of existing parklands and cultural resources, as well as the acquisition and development of new ones. It addresses the need for greater partnerships between local jurisdictions and non-governmental agencies within Benzie County and the region, and focuses on the recreational and cultural programming needs of citizens and visitors to Benzie County.
Because of the wealth of environmental resources in Benzie County, the Benzie County Parks and Recreation Commission is committed to environmental preservation in all of their activities.
Benzie County is relatively small in area and population, but large in its natural resources. It is the smallest county in Michigan with only 316 square miles (Benzie County Government, 2008). The County has extensive shoreline on Lake Michigan, numerous inland lakes and streams, and includes parts of the Pere Marquette State Forest, as well as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. There are great recreational resources available, but few financial or institutional resources to adequately incorporate these resources into the recreational and cultural infrastructure of the County and communities within the County. Therefore, developing existing parklands and acquiring new ones can be difficult and requires intergovernmental and non-governmental cooperation and good planning.