LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – Nearly $2 million in Recreation Passport grants will be awarded to sixteen communities across the state. Two of of the sixteen are in the U.P.

Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced the grant recipients on Monday.

The two U.P. communities are Skandia Township, which will receive $142,500.00  for the Skandia Township Hall Park Renovation. The other is the City of Ishpeming. It will receive $114,000.00 for the Teal Lake Water Trail.

The Recreation Passport grant program started 11 years ago with the goal of boosting visitation and funding for Michigan state parks and created more funding for local, community parks and trails enhancement throughout the state.  

“The Recreation Passport gives Michigan residents and visitors access to our state’s unmatched natural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities all year long,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Every Recreation Passport purchase provides grant funding that helps communities bring to life the kind of modern, inclusive outdoor spaces that welcome residents of all abilities.” 

In a release from the City of Negaunee, on Tuesday, a joint partnership was announced which further explains how the money awarded to Ishpeming will be used.

The City of Ishpeming, City of Negaunee, and the Rotary Club of Ishpeming are announcing that their Joint Dock Project has been recommended for funding under the Recreation Passport Grant Program in the amount of $114,000.00.

All three entities are working together to construct two new ADA complaint docks on both ends of Teal Lake.

Both docks will be provided by EZ-Dock and will be of universal accessible design, one step higher than ADA standards. The docking system on the west-side (Ishpeming), will handle both canoes and kayaks. The east-side (Negaunee), will be able to handle canoes, kayaks, and the sculls used by the Marquette Rowing Club.

The required match of $38,900.00 has been fully raised and appreciation is extended to the following organizations for their donation: City of Ishpeming ($5,000), City of Negaunee ($5,000), Ishpeming Rotary Club (10,000), Tru North Credit Union ($1,0000), West End Health Foundation ($7,500), Ishpeming/Negaunee Community Fund (1,900.00), U.P. Rowing Club ($1,000.00), and District #6220 Rotary Club ($7,500). 

View projects recommended for funding for this year’s Recreation Passport grant awards. Counties where funded grant projects have been approved include Arenac, Benzie, Berrien, Charlevoix, Huron, Ingham, Leelanau, Marquette, Montmorency, Sanilac, St. Clair, St. Joseph and Van Buren. 

Applicant County Project Title Award Amount 
City of Watervliet Berrien Hays Dog Park $71,600.00  
Homestead Township  Benzie  Platte River Park Boardwalk and Fishing Platforms $150,000.00  
Hillman Township Montmorency  Tournament/Tiger Paw Park Improvements $150,000.00  
City of Sturgis St. Joseph Sturgis Splash Pad $150,000.00  
City of Marlette Sanilac Marlette Pool House Renovations $150,000.00  
Village of Elkton Huron Ackerman Park Walking Path Improvements $150,000.00  
Village of Stevensville Berrien Hickory Creek Park Pavilion $150,000.00  
Village of Capac St. Clair Aldrich Park Improvements $45,000.00  
Village of Lawton Van Buren Chancy Lewis Park Renovations $74,000.00  
Skandia Township Marquette Skandia Township Hall Park Renovation $142,500.00  
City of Ishpeming Marquette Teal Lake Water Trail $114,000.00  
Village of Empire Leelanau Shalda Park Improvements $150,000.00  
Casco Township St. Clair Casco Township Belle River Park Picnic Area $56,200.00  
 City of Lansing Ingham  Frances Park Accessibility and Shade Structure Improvements $150,000.00  
Arenac County Arenac Development of Campground at Oasis Lake Park $112,500.00  
City of Charlevoix Charlevoix Michigan Beach Upland Renovation and Development $139,500.00  
Total:    $1,955,300.00 

Selected projects were scored and selected from a field of 53 grant applications seeking $5.9 million in local funding. Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to broaden public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. 

“It’s all about getting more people outside, more often, whether you’re going camping for the weekend or enjoying an after-dinner stroll at the neighborhood park,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Recreation Passport grants make more of these opportunities possible and having such places to safely turn to is proving to be incredibly important during the COVID pandemic.” 

The application period for the next round of Recreation Passport grant funding opens in early 2022, with applications due April 1. Learn more about the program and application materials at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants