(CBS DETROIT) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced on Friday it is increasing pay for state park seasonal workers to $15 an hour.

The pay is an increase from the old starting rate ranging from $10.20 to $12 depending on the region and applicant’s experience.

READ MORE: Biden Announces Nearly $3 Billion To Address Food Shortages

The new hourly rate is effective May 29 and is available to all new seasonal park worker hires and previously hired for this summer season. Officials say the new rate increase was implemented after reprioritizing state parks funding.

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in Belle Isle State Park. Photo by Tyler Leipprandt (michiganskymedia.com) under contract with the MI DNR. (credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

“We decided we needed to raise our hourly rate in order to stay competitive with other job opportunities for teens, young adults and retirees,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Chief Ron Olson. “Our seasonal summer workers are key to helping us provide great recreation experiences for every visitor. We think this rate increase will help, but we also want to remind people that we offer a positive work atmosphere and opportunities to explore a career in parks and recreation and natural resources management.”

READ MORE: 'These Cases Are Not Over': Michigan Solicitor General Reacts To Court's Ruling In Flint Water Crisis Indictments

The department is hoping to fill about 400 vacancies at state parks and harbors to complete the ranks of 1,300 season workers needed every year. The positions are flexible (up to 1,040 hours between April and October) with the opportunity to work through Oct. 15.

How to apply

Anyone interested can visit the seasonal park workers page at Michigan.gov/DNRJobs or text “Hire” to 80888. Complete the seasonal park worker interest form by providing your name, email, phone number and the work location(s) where you’re interested in working

The positions may qualify for academic or internship credit (applicants should contact their academic advisor for eligibility requirements).

MORE NEWS: Here Are Ways To Save While On Vacation

© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.