Michigan DNR awards nearly $2M in recreation grants to 18 communities

LANSING, Mich. – Nearly $2 million in recreation grants will go to local park and trail improvements and developments.

Eighteen communities will the funding, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Projects include trailhead development in Marquette County, recreation center renovation in Oakland County and park improvements in Crawford County.

The department received 59 grant applications that sought $6.5 million for local funding.

The DNR’s recreation passport program has awarded about $12.7 million in grants since being introduced in 2010. The program is tied to license plate registration renewals and more than a third of Michigan registered vehicles now have the recreation passport on their license plate tabs.

Ten percent of every recreation passport sale goes to the grant program.

A recreation passport is required for vehicle entry into Michigan’s 103 state parks, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, hundreds of boating access sites and other outdoor spaces.

“We’ve seen an upswing in the number of visitors coming out to use Michigan state parks, trails and other outdoor opportunities, as people look for COVID-safe ways to relax and get exercise,” said Ron Olson, DNR Parks and Recreation Division chief. “Those visitors represent a direct investment in state parks and local parks, because about $1 from every Recreation Passport purchased funds those local park and recreation grants.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Source Article