The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently approved nearly $2 million in grant funding to help improve parks, trails and facilities in 18 communities across the state.
The DNR awarded $1,993,500 in grant funding for local park improvement projects, as well as developments for sports and fitness facilities, trails and walkways, and parks. Funding was given to projects in Alcona, Antrim, Bay, Berrien, Genesee, Houghton, Lapeer, Lenawee, Mecosta, Midland, Ogemaw, Presque Isle, Saginaw, Sanilac, Schoolcraft and Wexford. Two projects in Benzie were also given funding.
Projects were chosen from a pool of 70 grant applications seeking in $7.3 million in funding, the largest pool since the program launched nearly 10 years ago. Chosen projects aimed at increasing public access to outdoor recreation opportunities.
The funding came from Michigan’s Recreation Passport program, which is required for vehicle entry into state parks, campgrounds, and trails across Michigan. Ten percent of the revenue from the Recreation Passport program goes directly into funding for the grant program.
“Recreation Passport grants support local government efforts to offer residents and visitors quality recreation opportunities,” said Dan Lord, DNR grants manager, in a statement. “Together, state and local governments work closely to improve quality of life and increase tourism in communities across the state.”
Grant funding from the Recreation Passport Program has nearly doubled in the last five years.
“It’s very encouraging to see the continued growth in the Recreation Passport, enabling the local grant program to increase,” said Ron Olson, DNR parks and recreation chief, in a statement. “When people choose to support the Recreation Passport program while renewing their license plate registration with the Secretary of State, our local communities benefit, too. The more people who participate in this program, the more is given back to our local communities.”
Read a full list of funded project titles and descriptions here.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]