By LAURA BOHANNON
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan has plenty of scenic publically owned land, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is using its summer youth program to expose urban youth to parks and other recreational outdoor activities. The DNR hopes the program will give kids from urban areas who aren’t typically exposed to outdoor recreation such as hiking, camping and fishing the chance to experience those options, develop new hobbies and explore career opportunities, Director Keith Creagh said. He also said the DNR is focused on bringing some aspects of parks to urban areas to help diversify their user base. Creagh also said the program brings kids to state parks and works to better the urban areas where they’re from, like cleaning up the Flint River. The DNR tracks the success of these programs by tracking its participants, looking to see if participants have gone on to pursue a college degree or a job, Creagh said.