The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board of trustees has recommended funding for recreational development projects across the state. The recommendations total nearly $28 million to fund land acquisition and development projects in 2016.

A total of $695,000 has been recommended for Kent and Ottawa Counties.

City of Grand Rapids Huff Park Boardwalk Renovation & Restroom Improvements - $300,000

  • Development to include renovations at Huff Park - an 87-acre urban park. Improvements include upgrades to the existing restrooms for energy efficiency and ADA compliance and renovation of over one-half mile of universally accessible boardwalk. The boardwalk will provide interpretive access to a 20-acre wetland area identified as a preservation priority in the several greenway plans in the region

Zeeland Splash Park Expansion - $50,000

  • Development project to expand the recently completed City of Zeeland Splash Park. The site serves as the only organized public open space in downtown Zeeland as a splash pad and gathering space for passive use and organized events. Improvements include a shade structure, a lawn sunning area, landscaping and amenities.

Crockery Township Extension of North Bank Trail - $45,000

  • Development of a 1.75-mile section of the North Bank Trail. The proposed extension will connect the North Bank Trail from Crockery Township to trail networks in Spring Lake Township and Grand Haven.

Holland Charter Township Dunton Park Shoreline Renovation & Barrier Free Kayak Launch - $300,000

  • Development of trailhead facilities for the Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan Water Trails and renovation of HB Dunton Park. Improvements include accessible canoe/kayak launch, floating fishing pier, picnic shelter, playground, viewing areas, shaded seating areas and a restroom building with a kayak rental, concession and storage area. The park is used by the public for passive recreation, water access and outdoor education programming.

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

The board recommended a total of $19.9 million for 26 acquisition grants in 18 counties.  These include land containing a significant waterfall in Houghton County, two areas to be used for increased boating access to Lake St. Clair, land near the Grand River in Grand Rapids to support recreational development of the river, and frontage on Bear Lake in Manistee County for installation of new kayak and canoe launches.

Eight million dollars for 44 development grants located in 30 different counties was also recommended. These include boat launch improvements in Frankenmuth (Saginaw County), a trail-enhancement project in Watersmeet Township (Gogebic County), a universally accessible playground in Ann Arbor (Washtenaw County) and park improvements in Redford Charter Township (Wayne County).

The board considered a total of 149 applications seeking $50 million in funding. In a competitive process, all eligible applications were evaluated on scoring criteria developed by the board.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a restricted fund that was established in 1976 to provide funding for public acquisition of lands for conservation and outdoor recreation, as well as for public outdoor recreation development projects. It is funded through interest earned on funds derived from the development of publicly owned minerals such as oil and natural gas. Over the past 39 years, the Trust Fund has granted more than $1 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve recreation opportunities for Michigan citizens.