LANSING — The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board of Trustees recommended to the Michigan Legislature that 69 recreation development projects and land acquisitions totaling $24,729,500 be funded in 2015 Monday.  The board this year considered a total of 156 applications seeking $44.7 million in funding.  In a competitive process, all eligible applications were evaluated based on scoring criteria developed by the Trust Fund Board.

“Broader public access to plentiful, quality outdoor recreation opportunities plays a central role in Michigan’s economy and quality of life for residents and visitors,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund continues to support active, healthy lifestyles for people of all abilities, and has done so for nearly 40 years, funding recreational opportunities in every county in Michigan.”

The Trust Fund board recommends funding to both state and local agencies for development projects and land acquisitions that will further access to public outdoor recreation.

This year, the board recommended $18,249,900 for acquisition grants and $6,479,600 for development grants. Sixteen acquisition grants were awarded to local units of government for a total of $8,880,000, while nine acquisition grants went to the Department of Natural Resources for projects totaling $9,369,900. The Trust Fund board also recommended a total of $5,539,600 in 40 development grants be awarded to local units of government while four DNR projects garnered a total of $940,000.

“This year’s recommended grants reflect the Trust Fund board’s strong engagement with local communities and add to Michigan’s world-class network of trails,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “Opportunities for outdoor recreation enhance a community’s ability to attract residents, businesses and tourists. That’s an essential component of reinventing Michigan.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for resource protection and outdoor recreation, as well as for public outdoor recreation development projects. It is funded through interest earned on funds derived from the development of publicly owned minerals. Over the past 39 years, the Trust Fund has granted more than $1 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve recreation opportunities in Michigan.

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

A list of U.P. projects include:

  • $45,000 to Arvon Township (Baraga County) for waterfront park improvements
  • $37,000 to Gaastra (Iron County) for recreational complex viewing and parking improvements
  • $37,5000 to Ironwood (Gogebic County) for Curry Park improvements
  • $37,5000 to Ironwood (Gogebic County) for Depot Park improvements
  • $295,000 to Gogebic County for the Ironwood to Bessemer Trail Project
  • $50,000 to Chocolay Township (Marquette County) for Lion’s Field Trailhead Development and park improvements
  • $91,4000 to Ishpeming (Marquette County) for the Malton Road Non-Motorized Trail
  • $40,000 to DNR Wildlife Division (Marquette County) for the U.P. GEMS Trail Initiative
  • $22,000 to the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority (Marquette County) for interpretive sinage
  • $36,600 to Marquette Township (Marquette County) for Marquette Township’s first IOHT development
  • $210,400 to Ontonagon County for Ontonagon County Park improvements
  • $46,3000 to Ontonagon (Ontonagon County) for the Rose Island Paddle Craft Landing