Pictured rocks National Seashore | Susan J. Demas
On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a US $ 37.8 million grant to support 76 recreational projects and land purchases across the state under a long-standing natural resource funding program.
The projects were recommended by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board in December. The bipartisan bill, HB 4469was sponsored by State Representative Sue Allor (R-Wolverine).
“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund supports quality outdoor recreation and empowers Michiganders to safely enjoy the outdoors and boost the local economy,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This funding is critical to helping communities use their natural resources and make Michigan’s public spaces more accessible and attractive to residents and visitors. I take pride in putting this bipartisan law into law and supporting Michigan’s recreational resources and economy. ”
The Protected Trust Fund was established in 1976 and funded from income from government mineral development. From the beginning, the goal has been to secure a limited pool of funds to fund public purchases of land for research conservation projects, outdoor recreational activities, and public development projects for outdoor recreational activities.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has awarded more than $ 1.2 billion to state and local governments in recent years.
The latest round of funding signed by Whitmer includes continued support from tRail systems, especially those with broad regional and national impact and connectivity; Acquiring high quality, unique natural resources such as geological features and wildlife habitats; and a number of development projects expanding camping, fishing, biking, hiking, and snowmobiling opportunities across Michigan.
“The appreciation for Michigan’s outdoor spaces and recreational opportunities has always been high, but the past year was an important reminder of how valuable these resources are to our residents,” said Dan Eichinger, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who also the trust fund board is on duty.
“People increasingly used and relied on these spaces to hike, bike, camp, hunt, fish, and explore, or to share nature with their children. Many of these opportunities have been made possible in whole or in part by grants from the Trust fund financed, “said Eichinger.
The $ 37.8 million will be divided into $ 27.3 million for acquisition grants (four grants to the DNR; 26 to local government units) and $ 10.5 million for development grants (four grants to the DNR; 42 to local government units) divided up.
In total, the Trust Fund Board reviewed 136 grant applications to apply for funding before the beneficiaries were selected. Those recommendations He then went to the Michigan legislature as part of the appropriation process and then to the governor’s desk once it was approved by lawmakers.
Whitmer signed the bill Thursday at Discovery Pier in Greilickville Harbor Park in Elmwood Charter Township. The community is expected to receive US $ 300,000 for further development of the pier area.
“I think this is a great example of how a local community, nonprofit, and state can work together to create a special place,” said Jeffrey Shaw, Elmwood community leader. “We are excited to have Discovery Pier here in Elmwood Township and look forward to working together in the years to come.”