Photo Credit: Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

2017 Pure Award

Recognizing the tourism industry’s stewardship of Michigan’s natural, cultural and heritage resources.

The vision of the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan (MTSP) is that ‘Michigan be recognized as one of America’s favorite four seasons travel experiences.’ One of the eight goals put in place to help achieve this vision relates to our Resources and Environment, and is that Michigan ‘Be internationally recognized for our stewardship of – and rich opportunities to experience – our natural, cultural, and heritage resources.’

Every day you choose how to do business, and at some point have determined the core values on which your activities are based. The Pure Award was designed to recognize 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. Resources are defined broadly – to include historic, architectural, recreational and agricultural as well as natural assets – and might relate to buildings, grounds, practices, processes, programs, etc.

The Pure Award committee will recognize five finalists, including the ultimate winner of the Pure Award, to be presented during the 2017 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Detroit next March.  In addition to recognition by the tourism industry, the winning stories will be promoted by a variety of organizations, including Travel Michigan, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association, and the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan. This will allow millions of Pure Michigan enthusiasts to learn about and appreciate the efforts Michigan entities have implemented to keep the “Pure” in Pure Michigan. All vetted submissions will also be added to an online toolkit of resource best practices designed to inspire the tourism industry to make stewardship an integral part of the Pure Michigan promise.

The 2017 Pure Award committee includes:

  • Jon Allan, Director, Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • Bill Anderson, past Director, Former Michigan Department of History Arts and Libraries
  • Karel Bush, Executive Director, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Marci Cisneros, Executive Director, Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Ann Conklin, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Recreation and Park Association
  • Dennis Eade, Executive Director, Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fisherman’s Association
  • Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director , United Tribes of Michigan 
  • Bonnie Fink, Partnership Web Coordinator, Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Brad Garmon, Director of Conservation and Emerging Issues, Michigan Environmental Council
  • Christian W. Øverland, Executive Vice President, The Henry Ford
  • Maia Turek, Recreation Programmer, Parks and Recreation Division, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Larry J. Wagenaar, Executive Director, Historical Society of Michigan and Publisher, Michigan History Magazine
  • Betty Workman, Vacation Trailer Park and Sales

Deadline for Submissions: 5pm Friday November 18, 2016 

Details and Criteria:  The best practice(s) incorporated must be related to natural, cultural and/or heritage resource stewardship/preservation.  At least one photo representative of the practice(s) should be attached to the application; other graphics and additional documentation in support of an application are welcomed but not necessary. Applicants must be based in Michigan and hold all applicable State of Michigan permits.

2016 Winner: To learn about the 2016 Pure Award winner (Grand Haven Salmon Festival) as well as last year’s four finalists please click here.


Questions? Contact Sarah Nicholls at 2017mipureaward@gmail.com