Trust Fund board recommends $26 million in grants for outdoor recreation

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Dec. 13, 2018

Gov. Snyder's communications office, 517-335-6397
Jon Mayes (DNR grants management), 517-284-5954

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board recommends $26 million to enhance public outdoor recreation

Gov. Rick Snyder applauds quality of life improvements

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board this week recommended $26 million in grant awards for outdoor recreation development and land acquisition projects to the state Legislature.

This funding will support a variety of outdoor recreation improvements including expanded public access at popular beach destinations, additional snowmobile and multiuse trail easements, facility and playground improvements at urban parks, construction of new trails and connectors, water trail projects and sports field expansion.

“Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants make a long-lasting impact in communities across Michigan, providing a positive impact on the lifestyles of Michiganders through better public access to outdoor recreation opportunities, while giving a boost to regional economies,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The Trust Fund is a unique Michigan model that is working to yield benefits around the state.”

The board this year recommended a total of $26 million in grant funding, including
$7.4 million for 34 recreation development and $18.6 million for 30 land acquisition projects. Consider, too, that grant recipients have committed to providing matching funds of $15.9 million, bringing the total investment in outdoor recreation and conservation to more than $41.9 million for this funding cycle.

Of the $18.6 million recommended to fund acquisition projects, $12 million would be awarded to local units of government. Of the $7.4 million recommended to fund development grants, $6.9 million would support 30 local government projects and $500,000 would support four DNR projects.

The board considered a total of 158 applications seeking more than $71 million in funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were evaluated on scoring criteria developed by the board.

In 2016, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund celebrated 40 years of funding high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities for Michigan citizens and visitors. A restricted fund established in 1976 to support land conservation and outdoor recreation, the Trust Fund is financed through interest earned on funds derived from the development of publicly owned minerals such as oil and natural gas. Over the past 40-plus years, the Trust Fund has granted more than $1 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve public outdoor recreation opportunities in all 83 counties.

“The funding provided through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is critical to ensuring that residents have quality outdoor recreation resources and opportunities, and beautiful natural spaces to enjoy them,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “I want to thank the board for its continued vision, as well as the Legislature and Gov. Snyder for their unwavering support of this important program.”

The board's recommendations will go to the state Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process. Upon approval, the Legislature will forward a bill for the governor’s signature.

More information about the final 2018 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board recommendations is available at

/PHOTOS AVAILABLE: Photos of some past Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund-supported projects are available in this online photo folder.

These photos illustrate projects that received funding in past years' grant cycles and that have since been completed and opened to the public. Caption information is given with each photo./

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to