MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Projects identified as critical needs by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will soon benefit from $15,962,000 in funding.

Projects in Bay, Cheboygan, Delta, Iosco, Mackinac, Monroe, Ontonagon, Saginaw, Washtenaw and Wayne counties will include lodge renovations, upgrades to electrical and water systems, preserving historic structures and stabilizing riverbanks for trail resurfacing.

The funding was made possible through Gov. Whitmer’s Building Michigan Together Plan. Th nearly $5 billion infrastructure deal inked in March which included $250 million to pay for what the DNR calls a decades-long backlog of repair and maintenance needs at state parks.

Here are the projects listed in alphabetical order of county.

  • Bay City State Park (Bay County): $1.5 million to refresh and renovate the interior and exterior of the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. Renovations include the reception area, exhibit hall, roof and siding, and the addition of a new science lab. General improvements include enhancements to make the park more accessible for all visitors.
  • Cheboygan State Park (Cheboygan County): $750,000 to construct upgraded electrical and water distribution systems in the modern campground. The project includes the replacement of below-ground water mains and electrical conduit, meters and distribution panels, as well as upgraded jug fillers and electrical pedestals. An additional $2 million is proposed in later phases for additional investments in the sewer system.
  • Fayette Historic State Park (Delta County): $600,000 to reconstruct the south wall of the west casting house in the park’s historic townsite – where visitors can take a walking tour of 20 original structures from the once bustling, late-1800s, iron smelting industrial community. This is the first phase of a historic preservation project in the park.
  • Fayette Historic State Park (Delta County): $400,000 to reconstruct approximately 300 feet of retaining wall adjacent to the historic charcoal kilns in the park’s historic townsite. The kilns were constructed to produce charcoal for blast furnaces to smelt iron ore. This is the second phase of a historic preservation project in the park.
  • Tawas Point State Park (Iosco County): $455,500 to repair water-damaged brick on the historic Tawas Point Lighthouse. The work will be completed by professionals specializing in historic architecture for maritime buildings.
  • Straits State Park (Mackinac County): $2 million to replace the two upper campground toilet and shower buildings, which will mirror finish details from newly constructed buildings in the park’s lower campground.
  • Sterling State Park’s Heritage Trail (Monroe County): $425,000 to stabilize the riverbank in preparation for trail resurfacing. This is the first phase of an improvement project that will leverage federal funding to improve the slowly eroding embankment between the river and marsh lagoon. An additional $3.57 million is proposed in later phases for further investments in erosion control.
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (Ontonagon County): $1.4 million: to renovate and preserve the Kaug Wudjoo modern lodge, staff quarters, mechanic’s shop, carpenter’s shop and fire barn. Renovations include the construction and replacement of new roofs and siding, as well as enhancements to accessibility features. Utility and structural upgrades also are included in ongoing historic preservation efforts.
  • New state-county park in Saginaw (Saginaw County): $867,000: Construction of parking areas and a park entrance on the old General Motors site and nearby landfill. The area is a state park already in development on reclaimed brownfield site on the Saginaw River. The project will als include the construction of new concrete bumpers, solar lighting, parking gates that meet Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, fencing and signage.
  • Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County): $65,000: Installation of a new universally accessible fishing pier at Portage Lake in the Portage Lake Campground.
  • Belle Isle Park (Wayne County): $7.5 million: Lead paint removal and replacing glass and steel at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.

The funds must be committed to a project by December 31, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2026 to meet federal funding requirements.

A DNR representative said all of the above listed projects are out for design and bid. The DNR expects the second round of projects to be announced in the coming months.

The DNR created a website including an interactive map, state park facts and figures, a photo gallery, and frequently asked questions. You can keep up to date with the projects here.