Michigan agency recommends $5.4M for recreation projects

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials have selected 14 community and state parks, trails and sports facilities to share $5.4 million in federal grants.

The state Department of Natural Resources said the money will come from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is supported by revenues from gas and oil development from the Gulf of Mexico.

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

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

They include campground developments, park renovations and improvements, accessible playground development, accessibility improvements and more.

The DNR uses Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars to help develop public outdoor recreation facilities and provide matching grants for local governments to do likewise. Eligible applicants include Native American tribes, villages, cities, townships and counties, and divisions within the DNR.

After Congress appropriates funds each year, the Interior Secretary divides it up among the states, which recommends projects for approval from the National Park Service.

The Great American Outdoors Act, signed into law this past August, established permanent funding for the fund. Michigan officials say they expect the state to get a bigger share in the future.