RELEASE: Gov. Whitmer Announces Nearly $2 Million in Recreation Grants for Local Park and Trail Improvement and Development

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December 6, 2023  



Gov. Whitmer Announces Nearly $2 Million in Recreation Grants for Local Park and Trail Improvement and Development 

Recreation Passport program’s 13-year grants output tops $18.5 million 


LANSING, Mich. Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that 15 communities will share $1,977,300 in Recreation Passport grants for projects, including the addition of a skate park in Mecosta County, new playground equipment in Roscommon County, a new campground and boat launch in Ontonagon County, and park improvements in Barry and Tuscola counties.  


When we invest in our state parks and public lands, we all benefit,” said Governor Whitmer. “The Recreation Passport helps us improve parks, trails, playgrounds, campgrounds, and so much more across Michigan, improving quality of life and growing our economy. I am proud that we made the largest investments ever into our state and local parks over the last few years. Let’s keep investing in Pure Michigan! 


Funding for this program is derived from sales of Michigan’s Recreation Passport, which gives year-round vehicle access to 100-plus state parks and recreation areas, more than 1,000 state-managed boating access sites, 140-plus state forest campgrounds, and parking at thousands of miles of trails and other outdoor spaces. 


The Recreation Passport Grants are funded from 10% of the Recreation Passport revenues, with the remaining funds supporting operations, infrastructure and historic and cultural assets in the state parks and recreation system.  


With the announcement of this year’s recipients, the Recreation Passport grant program (established by Public Act 35 of 2010) has awarded just over $18.5 million statewide. 


View projects recommended for funding for this year’s Recreation Passport grant awards. Counties where funded grant projects have been approved include Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Crawford, Ingham, Ionia, Iosco, Mecosta, Montmorency, Ontonagon, Roscommon, St. Clair and Tuscola counties. 


Selected projects were scored and selected from a field of 47 grant applications seeking $5.4 million in local funding. Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to broaden public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. 


“The Recreation Passport secures critical funding for both state and local community parks,” said DNR Director Scott Bowen. Because 10% of Recreation Passport sales go to communities through these grants, even more of Michigan’s residents and visitors can enjoy the outdoors. Whether strolling through a neighborhood park during your lunch hour, enjoying time with your grandkids at an accessible playground, or playing volleyball with friends at a beach court, having outdoor spaces available and nearby are important to our mental and physical wellbeing.” 


The application period for the next round of Recreation Passport grant funding opens in early 2024, with applications due April 1. Learn more about the program and application materials at 



Funding for this program is derived from sales of Michigan’s Recreation Passport, 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.  


Approximately 97% of state parks funding for operations and maintenance is generated by user fees and royalty revenues. This includes: 

  • 50% from camping and lodging reservation fees. 
  • 27% from Recreation Passport sales. 
  • 11% from state-owned, oil, gas and mineral royalty revenues, which feed the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund. 
  • 9% from concessions, shelter reservations, and miscellaneous sources. 


Michigan's General Fund tax dollars provide the remaining 3% of state park funding. 


Questions? Call the DNR Grants Management Section at 517-284-7268 or email