The deadline for Recreation Passport grant funding applications for local park improvement projects is April 1.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) awards the grants to communities across the state for playgrounds, sports and fitness facilities, trail and walkway development and park improvements.
Winning projects demonstrate that they increase public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities.
Dan Lord, DNR grants manager, said quality recreation opportunities strengthen communities.
“Together, state and local governments work closely to improve quality of life and increase tourism in communities across the state,” Lord said in a statement.
Sales of Michigan’s Recreation Passport provide funding for the grants program. Recreation Passports are required for vehicle entry into 103 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, hundreds of boating access sites and other outdoor spaces.
Michigan residents can buy Recreation Passports when they renew their vehicle registration or in person at state parks. Passports are available to residents and non-residents in person and online.
“The more people who participate in this program, the more is given back to our local communities,” Ron Olson, DNR parks and recreation chief, said in a press release.
Passport sales and revenue generated from camping fees are a key source of funding for the state parks system. The grants program receives 10% of the funding of Passport sales.
Grant funding has nearly doubled in the past five years.
Nearly $2 million was awarded in grant funding this year. The selected projects were chosen from a field of 70 grant applications, the largest demand to date in the program’s nine-year history.
Applications materials for the next round of Recreation Passport grants are available at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.
For more information, call the DNR Grants Management Section at 517-284-7268 or email DNR-Grants@Michigan.gov.