Johnson supports funding for 3 outdoor recreation projects

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Wednesday supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund projects for 2021, including three area projects.

“This measure would invest $900,000 from the trust fund toward over $4.8 million in three local recreational improvement projects in southern Genesee County,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “The projects will help enhance opportunities for local families to have fun in Michigan’s great outdoors from hiking and biking to kayaking and fishing. It’s all part of an ongoing effort to use these constitutionally restricted funds to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”

House Bill 4469 would authorize the trust fund to use $37.8 million to support 30 acquisition projects and 46 recreational development projects throughout the state. Matching funds of almost $47.2 million would bring the total investment to nearly $85 million.

Under the bill, the Southern Lakes Parks and Recreation District would get a $300,000 grant to use toward a nearly $2 million project to develop the Silver Lake Road Connector Trail through the communities of Linden, Fenton and Fenton Township. The trail would connect Triangle Park in Linden with Silver Lake Park in Fenton and include observation areas with unobstructed views of the lake, wetlands and prairies.

The city of Fenton would also receive a $300,000 grant toward a $499,600 project to add an ADA-accessible kayak/canoe launch, storage building, benches, accessible playground, landscaping and wellness stations to Millpond Park along the Shiawassee River Water Trail.

Genesee County would get a $300,000 grant for a $2.3 million development of a 2.28-mile section of the Iron Belle Trail in Genesee County along the south side of Perry Road stretching from Atlas Township to Grand Blanc Township. The trail would provide nonmotorized access to outdoor recreation opportunities at Atlas County Park, such as hiking, shore fishing and paddling on Kearsley Creek.

The NRTF is supported by interest earnings from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The fund’s dollars are constitutionally restricted to recreation improvements and land acquisitions.

HB 4469 now goes to the governor for her signature.

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