LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday approved a Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill to support $84.6 million in park and trail developments and acquisitions across Michigan, including two projects in Muskegon County.
“The Natural Resources Trust Fund is a great way to reinvest money into our state’s outdoor recreational opportunities without added costs to taxpayers,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-North Muskegon. “The bill we approved devotes tens of millions of dollars to support well over 100 projects across Michigan, including two in Muskegon County. These projects will provide West Michigan families with even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors in our beautiful part of the state.”
The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. Since its inception in 1976, the NRTF has been used to fund 2,715 projects totaling $1.3 billion.
Senate Bill 1028 would authorize the NRTF to use $45.6 million in restricted funds to support 22 acquisition projects and 95 development projects. Local matching funds of $39 million would bring the total investment to $84.6 million.
In Muskegon, the Muskegon Sand project would be authorized to acquire 162 acres within the coastal zone boundary of Lake Michigan. The acquisition of this northern portion constitutes the second phase of the Muskegon Sand project. Upon completion of the second phase, the public will be able to enjoy approximately 1,460 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline and 9,490 feet of shoreline along inland lakes.
In North Muskegon, a project at Russell Road Park would construct a new baseball diamond and a universal access hunting blind within the wooded portion of the park. The site would also include driveway access, parking, walkways and spectator seating.
SB 1028 now heads to the full Senate for consideration.