These 14 neighborhood out of doors recreation tasks get $1.9M increase from Recreation Passport program

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What’s happening: The Michigan Recreation Passport program has announced its latest list of community projects to receive grants to improve recreational opportunities across Michigan, and many of the winners are in our rural communities. A total of $1,906,100 was awarded to 14 communities across the state in this latest grant round.

background It’s been 12 years since Michigan introduced its Recreation Pass program, which charges an annual fee ranging from $6 to $18 depending on the vehicle for access to Michigan’s 103 state parks, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, and other tourist destinations . While much of the money raised goes back into funding park maintenance and modernization, a portion has been paid back to communities for their own park projects. Since its inception, the program has awarded more than $16.5 million in passport grants to those seeking recreation.

Winning Efforts: A field of 35 applicants resulted in 14 winning communities. they include CrowellImprovements at Riverbend Park ($150,000); GladwinTrail of Two Cities Graduation ($150,000); SanduskyDiamond Trail Bathroom and Drinking Fountain ($150,000); AlpenaMich-e-ke-wis Park Beach Volleyball Courts ($150,000); Municipality of Ford RiverFord River Community Park ($83,600); L’AnseHockey Boards and Glass at Meadowbrook Arena ($150,000); LowellGrand River Park Splashpad ($150,000); FrankfurtBellows Park Development ($150,000); Alleganimprovements at Rossman Park ($112,000); Big PrairieOxbow Park Welcome Center ($150,000); PottervilleSunset Hills Park ($118,600); RomulusSocial Justice and Universal Access Project at Mary Ann Banks Park ($112,400); Weesaw community, Weesaw Township Park development ($135,500); and Municipality of CascoBelle River Park Picnic Pavilion ($144,000).

How to apply: The application window for the next round of Recreation Passport grant funding will open in early 2023, and applications are due April 1. Visit the Michigan DNR online to learn more about the program and the application process.

Why it matters: “Every resident who purchases the Recreation Passport gains amazing value and access to outdoor recreation for themselves while helping to improve public outdoor recreation nationwide,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Ten percent of Recreation Passport sales go through grants to local communities, supporting each community’s vision of what it can bring to residents. It’s about making outdoor recreation more accessible to more people. Whether you’re birdwatching with friends at a neighborhood park, playing with your kids in a new paddling pool, or enjoying a good book in the shade of a park gazebo, having those spaces available is incredibly important.”

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