State Rep. Curt VanderWall today advanced plans to add nearly $50 million to recreation projects in Michigan, including five projects in Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.
VanderWall, of Ludington, said the regional projects total more than $13.8 million. Funding is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.
“Northwest Michigan is blessed to have abundant natural resources, and these projects will further improve and expand access to our lakes, rivers and parks,” said VanderWall, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This plan will benefit local families, as well as the people who travel here to experience the beautiful lakes, rivers and landscapes, along with a wide variety of wildlife for which our area is famous.”
Overall, the plan includes nearly $50 million for 131 recreational development and land acquisition projects across Michigan. The list of district projects includes:
- A $12.5 million land purchase of up to 372 acres from the Sargent Minerals Co., which is surrounded by Ludington State Park. The purchase will increase recreation opportunities and protect coastal habitats in the area.
- Acquisition of 316 acres in Mason County’s Pere Marquette Township, with 312 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan, a mile of frontage on Pere Marquette Lake and a half mile on Pere Marquette river. The land adjoins the Pere Marquette State Game Area, Buttersville Campground and Suttons Landing Park. The cost of the purchase is $1,678,800, with half coming from a Trust Fund grant and half coming from a local match.
- A land purchase in Benzie County’s Homestead Township involving 52 acres, with almost one-third of a mile of frontage on the Platte River. The river is a federally designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream and will offer anglers the chance to hook salmon, steelhead and trout. The cost of the land is $300,000, with $222,000 coming from a Trust Fund grant.
- Development of a trailhead for the Lake Michigan Water Trail in Manistee County’s Magoon Creek Park in Filer Township. The $71,100 grant will help pay for construction of a paved parking lot, amenities and access routes to the existing universally accessible restroom, existing pavilion and proposed overlook.
- Improvements to Benzie County’s Penfold Park in Elberta. The $220,000 grant will help pay for the development of a restroom, paved walkways, parking improvements and a canoe/kayak launch at the park, which serves as the home of the Elberta Farmers Market and provides access to Betsie Lake. This lake connects to the Lake Michigan Water Trail and serves as a trailhead for the Betsie Valley Trail.
The projects laid out in Senate Bill 883 now move to the governor for consideration.