$1.8M awarded U.P. park/rec projects

LANSING, Mich. – Nearly a dozen Upper Michigan recreation areas in six counties will receive state funding.  Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation authorizing nearly $38 million in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants to support 99 recreation and land acquisition projects.  Of that, approximately $1.8 million is ear-marked for the U.P.  The Upper Peninsula projects are listed below.

House Bill 5364, sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall, reflects recommendations of the trust fund board. The bill now is Public Act 283 of 2012.

“These projects allow us to preserve the places that make Michigan such a special place to live, work and play,” Snyder said. “They provide diverse, high-quality recreational opportunities for residents and tourists alike. I appreciate the trust fund board’s work in identifying and evaluating these projects so that the economies and quality of life in communities across our state are enhanced.”

Total cost of the projects is $65 million when matching funds of more than $27 million are combined with the $38 million appropriated by the legislation.

The trust fund is a restricted fund established in 1976. It provides a funding source for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation. Revenue is derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights. In 1985, voters made the trust fund part of Michigan’s Constitution, ensuring the program’s future.

Since its creation, the fund has awarded more than $900 million for land acquisition and public outdoor recreation development projects for communities in every county.

Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bill.


Gogebic County – City of Bessemer, Mary Street Ethnic Commons and Trailhead Project – $279,900.  Development will include an Ethnic Commons and Regional Range Trailhead, including cultural and interpretive signs, flagpoles, greenspace development, gazebo, site furnishings, kiosk, pedestrian lighting, trees and landscape.

Gogebic County – City of Ironwood, Depot Recreation Park and Trailhead Improvements – $295,900.  Development of Depot Park and trailhead, including non-motorized trail, construction of pavilion with restroom facility, pathways, parking lot, playground equipment, pedestrian lighting, outdoor furnishings, site amenities, landscaping and kiosk.

Gogebic County – Watersmeet Township, South Agonikak National Recreation Trail Enhancement – $276,800.  Development will include restoration and upgrade of the south section of the Agonikak National Recreation Trail for non-motorized use.

Houghton County – Calumet Township, Calumet Lions Park Trail – $29,000
Development will include non-motorized path around Calumet Lake that continues the barrier-free path.

Houghton County – City of Hancock, Navy Street Park Boardwalk – $262,500. Development to include 382 feet of universally designed accessible boardwalk.

Iron County – Bates Township, Bates Township Park Improvements – $155,900.
This development project will include ADA compliant access and improvements to existing pavilion, restrooms and development of a fishing pier.

Iron County – City of Gaastra, Restroom Facilities – $64,200.  Development to include restroom facilities with storage area near existing ball and soccer field.

Luce County – Village of Newberry, Tahquamenon Outdoor Recreation Complex – $300,000.  Development will include synthetic ice skating hockey facility and associated site improvements.

Ontonagon County – Interior Township, Abbot Fox Community Park Handicap Accessibility – $43,500.  Development of handicap accessibility to Abbot Fox Community Park to include walkways, parking areas, fishing/observation deck, picnic tables, grills, benches and signage.

Schoolcraft County – Manistique Township, Township Park Barrier-Free Beach Access – $73,100.  Development to include playground surface, boardwalk, viewing platform, changing building, interpretive signage, beach access path, pavilion and bike rack.