DNR awards more than $1.4M in Recreation Passport grants

LANSING –The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that 22 communities will share $1,468,900 in Recreation Passport grants — funding that will help those communities complete critical outdoor recreation facility renovations and improvements.

This year, Recreation Passport grant applicants sought funding for a broad range of public outdoor recreation projects, including playground development and renovations, sports and fitness facility development and improvements, trail and walkway development, ski-run development, park and picnic area improvements and improved accessibility for users of all abilities.

Grant funding will support four projects in the Upper Peninsula, including Delta, Dickinson, Hough-ton and Menominee counties. Lower Peninsula counties are Berrien, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Mo-ntcalm, Montmorency, Oakland, Oscoda, Presque Isle, Sanilac, St. Clair, Tuscola, Van Buren and Wayne.

Recommended for an award of $58,000 was the city of Iron Mountain for renovation of the existing tennis courts at the East Side Recreation Complex.

The city of Houghton received a recommendation of $75,000 for renovation of Dee Stadium restrooms to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, with two hockey sleds acquired for on-the-ice use.

It was recommended the city of Menominee will receive $46,500 for upgrading the electrical service and installing a security camera at the River Park Campground.

Nahma Township in Delta County received a recommendation award of $52,500 for the development of a trailhead to accommodate several trail user groups including equestrian, snowmobile, ORV and non-motorized users.

The full list of grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassportgrants.

Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to increase public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. Their projects were chosen from a field of 73 grant applications seeking $4.8 million in funding.

“The Recreation Passport is all about getting more people outside, more often, to enjoy Michigan’s natural resources and many outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Dan Lord, DNR grants manager, in a news release. “The Recreation Passport grant program makes it possible for us to work together to make a lot of good things happen at the local level. For many communities, that means more opportunities to discover a new outdoor hobby, hike or paddle a trail, or simply enjoy the day in a clean, safe park with family and friends.”

Administered by the DNR, Recreation Passport grant funding is derived from sales of the Recreation Passport, the $11 annual pass that gives residents vehicle entry at state parks and recreation areas and boating access sites.

Application materials for future Recreation Passport grants will be available later this month at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants. People also may call DNR Grants Management at 517-284-7268 or write to: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Grants Management, P.O. Box 30425, Lansing, MI 48909-7925

For $11, or $6 for motorcycles, a year, Michigan’s Recreation Passport enables Michigan-registered vehicle access to more than 100 state parks, hundreds of miles of trails, historic sites, boat launches and other state-managed destinations. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.