UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board recommended funding for 45 recreation development projects across the state to the Michigan Legislature this week. In total, the board recommended $23,306,200 in grants to fund the projects in 2023, including five in the Upper Peninsula.
The recommendations are split amongst categories for acquisition grants and development grants. The board recommended $15 million for for 15 acquisition grants, eight of which are for local units of government, while the remaining seven will go to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The remaining $8.3 million in funds were awarded for 30 development grants.
The following projects were recommended for awards in Upper Peninsula:
Fort Wilkins – Keweenaw Point Acquisition: The Michigan DNR Parks and Recreation Division was awarded $5,000,000 for its project titled Fort Wilkins – Keweenaw Point Acquisition to purchase land in Keweenaw County.
Iron Ore Heritage Trail – Single Track Trail Acquisition: The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority was awarded $150,700 for its project titled Iron Ore Heritage Trail – Single Track Trail Acquisition in Marquette County.
Lakeshore Campground Acquisition – Phase 2: The City of Manistique was awarded $345,000 for its project titled Lakeshore Campground Acquisition – Phase 2 in Schoolcraft County.
Iron Ore Heritage Trail Extension to Lakenenland: The Iron Ore Heritage Authority was awarded $300,000 for its project titled Iron Ore Heritage Trail Extension to Lakenenland in Marquette County.
Pentoga Park Boat Launch & Iron Belle Trailhead: Iron County was awarded $120,700 for its project titled Pentoga Park Boat Launch & Iron Belle Trailhead in Iron County.
“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, with the tradition of leveraging critical match dollars, plays a vital role for economic and quality-of-life drivers in our state,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Michigan residents and visitors continue to depend on accessible outdoor recreation, like trails, playgrounds, sports fields and parks, to connect with nature while enjoying a break from their daily routines.”
The next step for the Trust Fund board’s recommendations is to go to the Michigan Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. Once approved, the Legislature forwards a bill to be signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“Since its establishment 46 years ago, the Trust Fund has contributed more than $1.3 billion in grants to local governments, greatly improving the quality of life of Michigan residents and visitors through diverse and accessible outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Governor Whitmer. “Whether you’re hiking a paved trail close to home, birdwatching in a community park or watching your grandkids enjoy an accessible playground, all of these Trust Fund-supported experiences greatly benefit our mental and physical health and significantly contribute to local economies.”
The board received a total of 124 applications for for 2023 projects. You can find a full list of recipients in Michigan here.