A connection within the Northern Michigan environment.

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Beachfront area outside of Traverse City that is utilized for recreational activities. Photo by Amy Davis.

A public area of beachfront land outside of Traverse City on Lake Michigan. Photo by Amy Davis.

A public area of beachfront land outside of Traverse City on Lake Michigan. Photo by Amy Davis.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — “Traverse City is one of the fortunate few within the state,” says Maia Turek, a Resource Development Specialist of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. “The beachfront area on Grand Traverse Bay as well as the TART Trail are examples of opportunities within the area that are utilized to make the city even more recreationally appealing for not only visitors, but also for the local residents.”

“My work with the DNR invites new recreational events to occur in the area as we support them through our organization,” says Turek.

An example of this is stand up paddle boarding, which is allegedly becoming progressively more popular within the area, according to Turek.

Chart made by Amy Davis.

Chart made by Amy Davis.

Yen Yoga & Fitness has been in the area since 2010 and is continually adding classes that are incorporated into the surrounding Northern Michigan environment. Of these the most popular is our SUP yoga classes that are offered on stand up paddle boards, says manager Temple Florip.

“In the past years we offered SUP yoga classes every day of the week from July to Labor Day, but this year we are just offering one a week,” says Florip.

Yen Yoga & Fitness also offers Sunrise Yoga on the rooftop at Hotel Indigo as a seasonal outdoor offering, as well as classes in local vineyards followed by a wine tasting after the class.  Florip says that clients love practicing in the surrounding environment, whether it’s on the rooftop, among the vines, or on the bay.

Emily Bostwick of Traverse City practices yoga outside daily. “After growing up here it’s so easy to take for granted our area,” says Bostwick. “It has happened to many people I know.”

“I don’t want this to happen to me, I appreciate everything that is offered here and will continue to participate in local opportunities like those through Yen.” Bostwick also says that she feels connected to nature through yoga, and she encourages others to try it.

Scott Drum, a professor of exercise physiology at Northern Michigan University adds the concept of social media to the interactions within the environment. He says that social media is a positive influence on the ability to effectively advertise the environment.

“Through instant videos and social media, Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are starting to catch up with the rest of Michigan and the world because people can finally see, literally, what there is to offer,” says Drum.

To sum it up, Drum says that cities without surrounding extensive trails and water will not be able to offer as many things as places like Traverse City, and therefore less successful.

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