Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Beson: Nature area project will be a big win for Bay City
RELEASE|May 22, 2024
Contact: Timmy Beson

A recent vote from state Rep. Timmy Beson will bring a vital development project in Bay County closer to reality.

Beson helped advance Senate Bill 817, which will provide funding for a nature area project at the Niagara Woods Preserve in Bay City. A vacant 14-acre parcel on the Saginaw River along the Iron Belle Trail would see accessible trail construction, shoreline fishing access and a nature play area.

“This will create even more recreational opportunities for people throughout the city,” Beson said. “When we can take existing areas and revitalize them in positive ways for the community to enjoy while still preserving natural elements that make our great state all that it is, it’s a big win for everyone. This is also an area that has been used for river access without any formal site there, so this would provide something that’s long been sought by residents. I’m happy to help move this project closer to the finish line, and I’m excited to see it get started.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $463,000, with $300,000 coming from the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund and remaining funding coming from a local match.

Money in the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from the development of minerals on state land – not general tax money – and is distributed on an annual basis in partnership with local governments. The money must be used for acquisition or recreational development projects, according to the Michigan Constitution.

The Natural Resources Trust Fund board approved its recommendations in December 2023 and the projects were approved with overwhelming support by the Michigan House of Representatives last week. The measure will soon be presented to the governor for her expected signature.

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