Michigan communities are in for outdoor improvements with 32 recreation and forestry projects approved for over $2 million in state funding.

This week, the Department of Natural Resources approved $1.9 million in funding for recreation projects and about $99,000 for urban forestry improvements. The DNR also recommended $5.4 million in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants to support park projects across the state; those funds are awaiting federal approval.

“During this time, having a fun, safe place to enjoy the outdoors is more important than ever, and these grants make projects to achieve that possible,” said Christie Bayus, Recreation Passport grant program manager.

The state’s 10-year-old Recreation Passport grant program is providing $1,926,000 for 18 projects, including a trailhead development in Marquette County, a recreation center renovation in Oakland County and park improvements in Crawford County.

The grants are funded through purchases of Recreation Passports, which are required for 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. About $1 from every passport goes to the grant program.

Counties where recreation grant funding has been approved include Alcona, Alpena, Barry, Chippewa, Clare, Crawford, Genesee, Isabella, Lapeer, Manistee, Marquette, Monroe, Montmorency, Oakland, Ogemaw, Osceola and Shiawassee.

Find the full list of projects here.

Communities across Michigan will have funding to get greener after this week’s approval of $98,690 in forestry grants. The DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program collaborated with the USDA Forest Service to fund the projects, which include tree planting and maintenance, planning for public spaces and educational programs.

This program helps Michigan increase the number of healthy trees where people live and work, which translates to cleaner air and water, cooler cities, erosion control and even reduced stress levels, according to the DNR.

Communities will use grant awards to inventory urban forests, plant trees, improve public awareness of threats such as invasive species and provide professional education opportunities. Local municipalities match the grants dollar-for-dollar.

Forestry grants were approved in Grand Traverse, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Oakland, Ottawa, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Find the full list of projects here.

This week, the DNR also recommended 14 projects to receive a share of $5,441,600 in federal funding.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund grants would support improvements to trails, sports facilities, and state and local parks across Michigan to bring “real-world health and social benefits to residents and visitors,” said Dan Lord, DNR grants manager.

If approved by the National Park Service, the funding would support campground developments, park renovations and improvements, accessible playground development, accessibility improvements and more.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund is pivotal in supporting projects that improve the quality of outdoor recreation for communities across Michigan,” Lord said.

Projects recommended for funding are in Bay, Berrien, Eaton, Houghton, Ingham, Macomb, Oakland, Oceana, Van Buren, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Find the full list of recommended projects here.

The fund is supported by revenues from federal gas and oil development in the Gulf of Mexico. The Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law in August and establishes permanent revenues for the fund, which could mean more funding for Michigan projects in the future.


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