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Marquette: A Commitment to Sustainable Travel and Environmental Stewardship

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Located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the clear waters of Lake Superior lap the stone cliffs and sandy beaches, Marquette County harbors a community distinguished by its natural surroundings—from rushing waterfalls and rock formations to scenic vistas and dense hardwoods. But beyond its scenic allure, Marquette County is distinguished by its commitment to sustainable travel and environmental stewardship, making the destination a trailblazer in responsible tourism.

At the forefront of Marquette County's sustainability efforts is the Respect Marquette County Coalition, a pioneering partnership with Leave No Trace. This partnership promotes conservation and respectful use of the destination’s natural spaces, while also combatting challenges including over-crowding, litter, pollution, disrupting habitats and more. By joining forces with local stakeholders, businesses and economic development groups, the coalition aims to instill a culture of environmental responsibility and preserve the region's pristine wilderness for generations to come.

What began with 20 partners in 2022 has since expanded to include 30 members, including hotels, trail organizations, municipalities and many more. Through collaborative meetings and community engagement, the coalition seeks to empower both visitors and residents to become stewards of the land, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in Marquette County's natural heritage.

Respect Marquette County provides helpful practices and guidance for outdoor recreation in the destination, creating free and public educational resources on a variety of topics, from how to enjoy and support the area’s trail systems to camping etiquette and fire ethics. Additionally, the coalition works with Northern Michigan University to educate students on the importance of showing respect to the community’s spaces.

Thanks to the efforts of the Respect Marquette County Coalition, both visitors and residents alike are armed with the knowledge and skills needed to preserve Marquette County's natural treasures. By embracing the principles of Leave No Trace and fostering a community-wide commitment to sustainability, Marquette County sets a shining example for destinations everywhere, proving that responsible travel and environmental conservation can go hand in hand.

Courtesy of Travel Marquette.

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Peterson. 

 

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