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Use Michigan’s great outdoors as a backdrop for critical conversations

The DNR’s Matt Metzger says Michigan’s state parks have seen huge attendance spikes due to the pandemic so the timing is perfect.

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Three Michigan organizations have teamed up to encourage critical conversations in the great outdoors.  

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, mPARKS, and Talksooner are encouraging parents and caregivers to use Michigan’s beautiful outdoor spaces as a backdrop to forge positive, healthy conversations aimed at youth substance abuse prevention.  

The DNR’s Matt Metzger says Michigan’s state parks have seen huge attendance spikes due to the pandemic so the timing is perfect.  Metzger said September is National Family Meals month and he encouraged families to have a good ole fashioned picnic at one of the parks. 

 Metzger said research shows that regular family meals can help prevent unhealthy teen behaviors associated with substance use.  Whether it’s a picnic, a hike in the woods, or a day at the beach, Metzger said, “there’s something special about campfire conversations or hiking chats that feels natural and organic, and an ideal place and time with less distractions to forge these important conversations.  We think it’s a natural fit.”  

If you’re looking for ways to get the conversation started with your kids, visit www.talksooner.org.

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