Pure Award

pure award

Recognizing Michigan organizations who have incorporated innovative and exemplary best practices in natural, cultural, and heritage stewardship into their daily operations.

Created in 2015, the Pure Award was an initiative of the Resources and Environment Implementation Committee of the 2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan whose goal is for Michigan to: “Be internationally recognized for our stewardship of – and rich opportunities to experience – our natural, cultural and heritage resources.” After receiving the award in 2018, Michigan Cares for Tourism elected to continue the management of the award after the original committee was disbanded. With Board of Director members, industry professionals and in coordination with Travel Michigan and the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, the Pure Award continues to recognize tourism stewards in Michigan.

The Pure Award is designed to recognize Michigan tourism entities that have pioneered the incorporation of innovative and exemplary best practices in natural, cultural and/or heritage stewardship into their daily operations.

Winners will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Supporting Michigan’s natural, cultural and/or heritage stewardship through their daily operations
  • All industries are eligible to participate (tourism and non-tourism related)
  • All profit and non-profit entities are eligible
  • Initiatives can be year round or for a short period of time (such as an event or seasonal project)
  • Winner will be recognized at the 2023 Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids, MI on April 10-12, 2023.

Nominations for the 2024 Pure Award will be open in February 2024.

Past Recipients

Support by parent company Vail Resorts, Mt. Brighton has continuously strived for excellence within the tourism industry in Michigan. The resort has become a pillar in the Greater Brighton community while embracing environmental sustainability issues. The resort has eliminated single use plastics, reduced water consumption, implemented a robust waste reduction program and emphasized energy reductions within their facilities.

The festival was brought together with private, public partnerships that included support from the City of Muskegon, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Visit Muskegon (Convention & Visitors Bureau), the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the Muskegon Museum of Art and many local businesses. This collaboration was a conscious effort to help revitalize Downtown Muskegon through investment, environmental stewardship, supporting the arts and tourism. Bringing in 50,000 visitors at its peek before the pandemic. The festival has been able to divert 10,289 pounds of material from landfills while providing over $7 million dollars in economic impact.  

To date, GTRLC has protected nearly 44,000 acres of land and more than 140 acres of shoreline along rivers, lakes, and streams.

The nonprofit’s conservation efforts focus on balancing the growth of the region by permanently protecting all that makes it special: fresh, clean water, working farms, lush forests, coastal dunes, trails for hiking and biking, scenic vistas, and wildlife habitat and corridors.

Since 2015, the Detroit Jazz Festival has worked to become the greenest jazz festival in the Midwest. Through their innovative partnership with DTE Energy Foundation on the Festival’s greening project, the festival is taking big steps to reduce its carbon footprint, educate attendees, and increase its waste diversion rate. 

By working collaboratively with stakeholders, the Festival continues to support sustainable tourism and events taking place within the city by creating best practices for other Detroit events. 

2018 - Michigan Cares For Tourism

Michigan Cares for Tourism received this award for their work as a100% volunteer, 100% give back non-profit organization helping restore Michigan’s historic, cultural and natural attractions. Their work to date engaged 2,000 volunteers and donated in excess $500,000 in labor and supplies to 15 Michigan destinations.

Their events occur throughout Michigan including Fayette State Historic Park in Garden, Sturgeon Point Lighthouse in Harrisville, CCC Museum and Ram Center in Roscommon, the Felt Estate in Saugatuck, Belle Isle State Park in Detroit (photo on left) and Mill Lake in Chelsea.

Headlands International Sky Park identifies the night sky as a vast and vanishing natural resource that is essential to today’s global conversation about habitat protection, energy resource management and tourism. Home to approximately 550 acres of woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and many species of rare and endangered plant life, Headlands became one of the first ten International Dark Sky Parks in the world in 2011.

Inaugural winner of the Pure Award the Grand Haven Salmon Festival was selected as the recipient for its strong commitment to sustainability and zero-waste festival endeavors. In 2015, 96% of the festival’s waste was waste composted or recycled, and the remaining 40 pounds of trash were processed in a waste-to-energy incinerator.