LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board recently recommended $25 million in grant money for outdoor recreation development and land acquisition projects that would improve access to public recreation sites throughout the state.
“The funding will support a diverse range of projects that will allow more folks to enjoy Michigan’s unique natural resources,” said state Sen. Jon Bumstead, whose district was included in the funding recommendations. “West Michigan is a wonderful place to enjoy Michigan’s outdoors. From our inland lakes, to Silver Lake Sand Dunes, to the miles of Lake Michigan Coastline, the communities across the 34th Senate District are home to endless recreation destinations, and this money will only enhance access to natural areas.”
The board recommended $25.6 million in grant funding, including $11.5 million for 60 recreation development projects and $14.1 million for 18 land acquisition projects. Grant recipients have committed to providing matching funds of $17 million, bringing the total investment in outdoor recreation and conservation to nearly $43 million for this funding cycle.
The recommendations included two projects in Bumstead’s district totaling more than $305,000.
The village of Fruitport would receive $125,000 to develop a site for visitors to access Spring Lake and the connecting waterways. The site will feature an extended parking lot and a new universally accessible kayak launch with boardwalk. The site will also include benches, interpretive signage and bike racks.
Additionally, Newaygo County would see new developments along the Michigan Dragon trail system at the Hardy Dam and along the property. Mecosta County also received funding to complete the project, as the completed trail will run in both counties. Newaygo County would receive $180,100 and Mecosta County would receive $205,000 for expansions to the trail system.
The planned route is 42 miles in length and will include six trailheads, 13 designated trail overlooks and parking at existing recreation sites. The trail will have a natural surface and will be two feet wide when completed. It is intended for bicycle and foot traffic only.
“I’ve always been an avid outdoorsman and will stand in support of both of these projects when they reach the Legislature,” Bumstead said. “I am happy to see these developments in our communities moving forward so we can continue passing down the love for Michigan’s outdoors.”
Now that the approved projects have been selected, legislation will be introduced to provide the funding. Once introduced, the bill will be referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations and move through the standard legislative process.