Sunday, December 16, 2012

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board recommends recreation projects, land acquisitions totaling $23,538,700

LANSING -- The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) board of trustees recently recommended to the Michigan Legislature that 76 recreation development projects and land acquisitions totaling $23,538,700 be funded in 2013. The board this year considered a total of 142 applications seeking $37,880,200 in funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were evaluated based on scoring criteria developed by the MNRTF board.

Local Upper Peninsula projects recommended include the following:
  • Baraga County: Village of Baraga, Marina Peninsula Boardwalk Project -- $50,000
    Development to include a boardwalk at the Baraga Marina Peninsula.
  • Gogebic County: City of Ironwood, Michigan’s Western Gateway Trail Improvements -- $225,000
    Development to include multi-use non-motorized paved recreational trail starting at Ironwood and connecting to Hurley, Wisconsin, at the western end. It will traverse easterly through cities of Bessemer and Wakefield.
  • Iron County: City of Iron River, Nelson Field Accessibility Improvements -- $49,900
    Development to include ADA-accessible pathways, connector path, viewing platform, new entrance ticket booth/storage shed, and grandstand back railing extension.
  • Keweenaw County: Grant Township, Grant Township Park/Copper Harbor Playground Renovation -- $49,000
    Development to include replacing playground equipment and surfacing in Grant Township Park.
  • Marquette County: City of Marquette, McCarty’s Cove Permanent Restrooms -- $88,800
    Development to include permanent restrooms at McCarty's Cove.
  • Marquette County: Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority, Iron Ore Heritage Trail-Tilden Township Section Development -- $281,000
    Development to include a 4.8-mile interpretive heritage trail from Winthrop Junction to Ely Township, providing a continuous trail from Kawbawgam Junction to Chocolay Township to Ely Township (approximately 32 miles). 
"Michigan’s natural resources and recreation opportunities are a big part of what is driving our state’s reinvention," said Gov. Rick Snyder. "I applaud the Trust Fund board for recommending the kind of investment that builds on the appeal of our great outdoor spaces for long-term economic and quality-of-life rewards in communities throughout Michigan."

The Trust Fund board can recommend funding for both development projects and acquisitions to local and state agencies. This year, it awarded $14,466,500 for acquisition grants and $9,072,200 for development grants. Seventeen grants were awarded to local units of government for a total of $11,956,500 for acquisitions, while five acquisition grants went to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for projects totaling $2,510,000. For recreation development projects, the board recommended a total of $7,822,200 be awarded to 49 local units of government while five DNR projects garnered a total of $1,250,000.

"The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund provides tremendous support to communities that want to offer residents and visitors quality recreation opportunities, while ensuring broad public access to hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation in Michigan’s special, scenic places," said DNR Director Keith Creagh.

The MNRTF is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation. It is funded through interest earned on funds derived from the development of state-owned minerals. In 1985, Michigan voters chose to make the MNRTF part of Michigan's constitution, ensuring the program's future.

The Trust Fund board’s recommendations will go to the Michigan Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. The Legislature then forwards a bill to the governor for his approval.

A list of the final recommendations made by the Trust Fund board is available at

No comments: