Photos Taken By Parks in Focus Participants from TrueNorth Community Services to Be Displayed at the Newaygo County Visitor’s Center (Michigan)

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Photo by Adam (age 15)

FREMONT, MI (November 4, 2013) – On Friday, Nov. 8, the Newaygo County Tourist Council and Visitor’s Center will begin exhibiting nature photographs taken by middle school youth from TrueNorth Community Services who recently participated in Parks in Focus® — a program of the Udall Foundation that connects middle school youth to nature through photography.

Each summer since 2007, Parks in Focus® has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Newaygo County and other TrueNorth youth programs to introduce Newaygo County youth to local parks and natural areas. This year, they put digital cameras in the hands of approximately 50 local youth ages 11 to 13 through

• A set of two weeklong afterschool initiatives held this spring with 28 White Cloud Middle School students from TrueNorth’s Project FOCUS program. [Read about it: here].

• An intensive summer immersion program for 10 youth from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Newaygo County and other TrueNorth programs, which culminated in a six-day photographic exploration of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Seney National Wildlife Refuge. [Read about it: here].

• Advanced summer activities for 12 past Parks in Focus® participants, including an alumni camping trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. [Read about it: here].

The photographs will be on display at the Visitor’s Center through Jan. 4 and will travel to NCCA-Artsplace in early 2014. The Visitor’s Center, located at 4684 S. Evergreen (M-37) in Newaygo, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Our 2013 Parks in Focus® activities were supported by a summer youth initiative grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Minigrant Program, administered by LowellArts! Additional support was provided by the DTE Energy Foundation, the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Alumni Association, and Lowepro.

For more information about Parks in Focus® or the upcoming photo exhibits, please contact Bret Muter at muter@udall.gov.

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