MARQUETTE - Marquette County, Tilden Township and the city of Munising were among 19 recipients of Michigan Recreation Passport grants for projects totaling more than $700,000.
The funding for the grant program is made available through revenue from the sale of Recreation Passports, the replacement for resident motor vehicle permit stickers for entry into state parks.
Marquette County was awarded $45,000 for renovation of a pavilion at Little Trout Lake at K.I. Sawyer, Tilden Township was granted $27,600 for the Tilden Township Recreation Complex-National Mine Playground and the city of Munising received $20,200 for its Lynn Street Tennis Courts renovation.
A Michigan Recreation Passport grant will fund replacement of the old pavillion at Little Trout Lake in K.I. Sawyer, which is shown in the background of the photo above. (Journal file photo)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials said the cities, counties and townships selected to receive a Recreation Passport grant clearly demonstrated projects that are designed to provide better public outdoor recreation opportunities or facilities, infrastructure and economic development plans that support public outdoor recreation activity.
The successful entries were chosen from a field of 82 grant applications seeking a total of $2.9 million.
"The projects that were funded this year further strengthen partnerships at the state and local level," DNR Director Keith Creagh said in a press release. "These partnerships are critical to providing recreational opportunities where we live, work and play."
While slightly fewer projects were funded this year, each project received more money, ranging from $20,200 to $45,000. The grant applicants sought funding for a broad range of public recreation projects, including playground development and renovations, picnic areas and pavilions, replacement of bathroom facilities and improved access for those with disabilities. The DNR expects in future years the maximum grant amount will increase as revenue from sales of the Recreation Passport also increases.
Application materials for future Recreation Passport grants are available at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants. Interested individuals also can call DNR grants management at 517-373-9125 or write to Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Grants Management, P.O. Box 30425, Lansing, MI 48909-7925.
The DNR said the Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking "YES" for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. Starting Jan. 2, 2013, the purchase price of the Recreation Passport is $11 for Michigan residents.
In addition, Recreation Passport holders can receive discounts at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Non-residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore
John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.