These nine park projects will share almost $6.5M in grants in support of planned upgrades

What’s happening: Park projects in nine counties stretching from metro Detroit to the northern tip of the Upper Peninsula are receiving support by way of $6.4 million in Land and Water Conservation Fund grants, Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced. The funds will support upgrades, renovations, and improvements at eight community parks, as well as the DNR’s acquisition of approximately 8,000 acres in the Keweenaw Peninsula. 

What they’re building: The projects selected will share in $6,461,500 in LWCF grants. Those include $260,000 for improvements to Dickinson Park in Berrien County; $157,800 for improvements to McGuire Park and river access points in Clinton County; $500,000 for the development of the Lake St. Clair Metropark Daysail Trail in Macomb County; $499,700 for tennis and pickleball facilities at Bear Lake Park in Muskegon County; $340,100 toward accessibility at Stony Creek Ravine Nature Park in Oakland County; $293,900 for renovations to Stluka Field in Ottawa County; $410,000 for Metro Park renovations and development in Roscommon County; and $500,000 for campground development at Parker Road West Campground in St. Clair County.

Big ticket item: More than half of the $6.4 million in LWCF grants will be used in Keweenaw County, where the DNR will acquire approximately 8,000 acres of wilderness at Keweenaw Point, with reported plans to expand Fort Wilkins State Park. A $3,500,000 LWCF grant supports the acquisition and conservation effort.

Why it’s important: “The Land and Water Conservation Fund, along with many other important grant programs administered by the DNR, is vital to expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation by creating spaces for all of Michigan’s residents and visitors to enjoy,” says DNR Director Scott Bowen. “Whether through the creation of multi-use trails, community campground improvements, or the addition of accessible playgrounds, these grants help to connect people to the outdoors.”

Next up: Application materials and information for LWCF grants will be available early in 2024 at Applications for the 2024 funding cycle are due April 1.

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