MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (12/8/2017) - The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board announced recommendations Friday for how to spend more than $40 million on parks and recreation projects.
Nearly $4 million of that would come to Mid-Michigan if the state Legislature approves the spending next year.
The money from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from royalties the state collects on oil and natural gas royalties. The state's constitution requires the money be spent only on parks and recreation projects.
Project descriptions are from the trust fund boards announcements.
Iron Belle Trail Easement - Lake State Railroad Property - $850,000
Acquisition of a 17-mile long trail easement from the Lake State Railway Company to fill a critical gap for the bicycle route of Michigan's Iron Belle Trail. The proposed easement will allow for the development of a multi-use trail connecting the City of Pinconning with the Village of Omer and serve as an alternate transportation route for non-motorized users.
Acquisition of the M-24 Pedestrian Tunnel Connection - $108,000
Acquisition of 0.44 acre of land along Farmers Creek to construct an ADA-accessible pathway between Cramton Park and the non-motorized trail system along the west side of Highway M-24, through a pedestrian tunnel that MDOT constructed when it replaced the M-24 bridge over the
creek. This acquisition will provide an important connection for Lapeer's Non-Motorized Transportation System, allowing users to safely gain access east/west of M-24 without having to cross the busy highway. They will have access to local businesses on M-24 and non-motorized
travelways west of M-24. It will also provide easy entrance into Cramton Park and will eventually allow an east-west trail system to thread through Cramton Park.
Thomas Township Nature Preserve Acquisition - $372,000
Acquisition of a 3.0-acre parcel to expand the Thomas Township Nature Preserve. This parcel will serve as the main entrance for the park and
provide a parking lot and building for the nature center.
Downtown Flint Fishing Access Improvements - $296,000
Development to improve and renovate the Water Wall block in River
bank Park in the City of Flint. Development will include fishing access on the Flint River, pathways to improve accessibility of the site, and removal of unsafe features. The Flint River and the Iron Belle Trail traverse through the park and will link to Chevy Commons, which is an important part of the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project.
Grand Fountain Park Improvements - $296,000
Development to improve and renovate the Grand Fountain block in Riverbank Park in the City of Flint. Development will include removal of unsafe features and installing pathways to improve accessibility of the site. The Flint River and the Iron Belle Trail traverse through the park and will link to Chevy Commons, which is an important part of the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project.
Improving Walkability at Riverbank Park - $296,000
Development to improve and renovate the Market Stall block in Riverbank Park in the City of Flint. Development will include pathways to improve accessibility of the site, and removal of unsafe features. The Flint River and the Iron Belle Trail traverse through the park and will link to Chevy Commons, which is an important part of the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project.
Genesee County Iron Belle Trail Vassar to Irish Segment - $300,000
Development of a 1.3-mile section of the Iron Belle Trail in Genesee County from its current end point of the dead end of Vassar Road, south of the Flint River, going east along the Flint River, ending at the entrance of Richfield County Park. This section of trail will provide non-motorized
access to the outdoor recreation opportunities provided by the Genesee County Parks facilities, including unlimited shore fishing; an extremely popular disc golf course, a highly used canoe/kayak launch, and a connection to Richfield County Park.
City of Mt. Pleasant Island Park Fitness Trail and Bridge Project - $153,000
Development of an 8-foot wide accessible path, fitness stations, and replacement of the 28 year-old pedestrian bridge between Island Park and Pickens Park. Trail improvements will complete the 1-mile loop within Island Park which is part of the Mid-Michigan Community Pathway.
Henderson Park Renovation Project - $165,800
Development to create recreational opportunities that are universally accessible at Shiawassee County's Henderson Park. Established in 1924, Henderson Park includes 32 acres stretching east-west with 3,180 feet along the Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail, an 85-mile water
trail located in Mid-Michigan. The park contains critical wetland, floodplain, woodland and riparian features and is home to many native species. Improvements include a new river walk and hiking trail, upgrades to existing river walk, updates to playground equipment, picnic and seating areas, placement of recycle receptacles, extended parking areas and road surfacing. Educational signage with solar LED lighting,
wayfaring and interpretive signs, and unique pollinator habitat plantings are also included. This project aligns with recommendations from the recently adopted Shiawassee County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan and will bring light to one of Shiawassee County's best kept recreation secrets.
Bay City Imagination Station Playground Development - $300,000
Development of the Imagination Station Playground to be located on 2 1/2 acres of open space in north Bigelow Park. The city-owned Bigelow Park is located on the north Middle Grounds Island surrounded by the Saginaw River in Bay City. The unique and accessible play area will include both natural and manufactured play areas and equipment, parking, lighting, landscaping, sanitary facilities and a variety of site furnishings. Play areas are being designed to appeal to children pre-school through 12-year-old age range.
Bad Axe Trail Improvements - $140,000
Development of an ADA-accessible walking trail, with park amenities, and interpretive signage along the Bad Axe Trail. This project will renovate an existing walking trail made from wood chips. The path will be 3,670-feet long, and will traverse through a wooded area, providing public access to natural resources.
Lapeer Pit Shooting Range Improvements - $150,000
Development to modify the current rustic shooting range and make improvements to provide a safe shooting location that incorporates sound abatement, NRA design recommendations and ADA considerations.
Accessibility Improvements at Ortonville Shooting Range - $49,200
Development to improve accessibility at the Ortonville Range by adding better parking and concrete pathways to the downrange targets.
Great Lakes Regional Trail Trailhead Development - $209,200
Development of a trailhead with parking lot and amenities as well as public access to the south end of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail. This segment of the trail is also part of the Iron Belle
Observation Trail Development-Phase 2 - $300,000
Development at Riverfront Park in Saginaw including an accessible trail from the parking lot and trailhead to the top of the large hill located in the center of the property. This will offer park visitors the opportunity to observe seasonal changes at the park and view the wildlife located within and surrounding the park. Riverfront Park was a former General Motors industrial property which is in the process of being transformed into a park to present natural resources to the urban population of Saginaw. The creation of the park is also a key element in a regional
effort to link a trail network with surrounding public land.