2021 Luce County Millage: Continuing Luce County Community Education and Recreation


September 30, 2021


Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by educating them where they are – in their homes, schools, farms, businesses and communities.

In 2016, Luce County residents voted to continue community investment in MSU Extension. In November 2021, residents have the opportunity to again vote on MSU Extension Luce County as it celebrates its 100th year of service.

Luce County residents receive $4 in return value for every $1 the county invests in MSU Extension programs.

Empowering and equipping youth success

Sixty-one percent of Luce County 4-H youth who graduated from high school from 2012 to 2019 enrolled in college within six months of high school graduation, exceeding by almost 15% the college enrollment rate of their peers who didn’t participate in 4-H.

  • MSU Extension Luce County 4-H programs engage 321 (or 34%) of Luce County youth aged 5 to 19 in learning opportunities that help prepare them for college, work and life. These learning experiences were led by 51 community-based adult volunteers.
  • Luce County students enrolled at MSU in 2020 received $171,395 in financial support to attend the university.

Building strong community capacity

MSU Extension leadership development programs serve to increase an individual’s knowledge and skills to provide more proficient leaders within organizations and communities.

  • Since 2020, Luce County leaders and other adult and youth residents have logged 118 registrations for MSU Extension online educational offerings designed to educate and help build community strengths. Physicians registered for trainings to ensure immunization and flu season readiness. Other community leaders registered to learn how to support resident engagement in policy-making, budget for fiscal sustainability and manage capital assets and how to manage challenges of travel and tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luce County youth and adult residents also signed in for virtual learning events to develop skills across a variety of topics.

Advancing early childhood literacy 

According to research shared by the National Institutes of Health, on average, participation in early childhood education leads to statistically significant reductions in special education placement and grade retention and increases in high school graduation rates.

  • In partnership with the Great Start Collaborative, MSU Extension Luce County offers programs that support early childhood education. MSU Extension staff members helped provide families with Talking Is Teaching kits for parents to use during the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home period to help advance child literacy outcomes. Staff members also provided science literacy bags containing educational resources and offered other family literacy support programs for Luce County residents.


Luce County Parks and Recreation (LCPR) is committed to ensuring that the bounty of natural resources available to Luce County residents are safe, well-maintained and accessible.

In November 2021, residents have the opportunity to vote on the millage that funds LCPR. This funding allows the wealth of outdoor resources in Luce County to remain available, affordable and enjoyable for community play and exercise.

Health researchers across disciplines agree that getting outdoors offers many opportunities to be physically active and may also promote mental health and reduce stress.

Expanding trail management

Luce County is home to 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, 111 miles of designated all-terrain vehicle trails, 77 miles of designated motorcycle trails and 20 miles of cross-country ski trails. Maintaining these trails is the responsibility of LCPR. They have used community support to connect the Zellar Trail with Hamilton Lake Trail, opening an extensive trail system.

Supporting school athletics

LCPR plays host to high school boys and girls softball teams by managing the M-28 softball fields, which support community softball teams as well. Over the past few years, the complex has seen the addition of warming tracks, softer infield sand and continued overall maintenance to support the sport for both school and community play. Newberry High School football is supported by LCPR through their maintenance of the game and practice fields for home football games. With some hard work from the high school baseball team, the baseball fields are also maintained by LCPR.

Providing affordable winter sports

For just $5 per person all day, Luce County residents can enjoy the Big Valley Ski and Tube, which offers a scenic landscape for skiing, tubing and snowboarding. Improvements to the ski lift and lighting extends the ability for the course to be safely enjoyed during the day and evenings. The Barn ice rink provides open ice skate time for Luce County residents and supports community hockey team practice and competitive play. These facilities as well as the Mow Cross County Ski course are all maintained by LCPR.

Encouraging family play

Whether its summer kickball, outdoor movies, tennis, Glow Night at the ice rink, Pic N At the Pond concerts, frisbee golf or pickle ball, LCPR works to provide a variety of fun recreational activities and events that can appeal to the entire family, from young children to seniors. LCPR also maintains the Luce County Little League complex, supporting the growth and development of volunteer-led community Little League teams. One of the biggest community outdoor assets is the Luce County Park and Campground. The Pavilion remains a popular gathering place for birthday celebrations and family reunions. LCPR has also supported improvements to the boat launch, the addition of playground equipment and new floating pads.

Luce County Parks and Recreation and MSU Extension are committed to providing valuable community education and recreation for Luce County residents in strong partnership with the Luce County Board of Commissioners. These opportunities are only possible with the continued support and investments of the residents of Luce County.


Tags: luce, msu extension

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