Rep. Jack O’Malley and the state House this week approved funding for several northern Michigan outdoor recreation projects – including an addition to Ludington State Park.
The projects are included in recommendations from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The recommendations are made to the Legislature, which is working to finalize and authorize the plan.
The projects in the portion of Northern Michigan represented by O’Malley – the 101st District – are located in Mason, Benzie and Manistee counties.
“I’m always pleased to support projects making northern Michigan an even better place for the families that live here year-round and the folks who visit in the summer,” said O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “Each of these parks are a big part of who we are and what we do. These improvements will support our way of life and our economy.”
The projects include:
• Ludington State Park. The measure provides $5.3 million to acquire up to 272 acres from the Sargent Minerals Company. The property is adjacent to the park and includes lakes, sand dunes and wetlands.
• City of Frankfort – Lake Michigan Beach. The measure provides $225,100 to improve restrooms and outdoor shower stations, provide personal watercraft storage and improve water access. The popular park is located on the Betsie Valley Trail and the Lake Michigan Water Trail.
• Village of Bear Lake – Hopkins Park development. The measure provides $28,000 to improve camping and water access on Bear Lake.
Statewide, the measure approved by the House provides $28.7 million for 60 recreational development projects and 18 land acquisition projects.
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 program dates back to the 1970s.
Senate Bill 145 returns to the Senate for further consideration.
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