Northern Michigan Communities Receive DNR Passport Recreation Grants

Antrim, Benzie, Mecosta, and Ogemaw Counties among those on the DNR list

Several Northern Michigan community parks will be getting a boost from another round of DNR grants.

One of those is Palmer Park in Antrim County.

The park in Mancelona will be getting $52,900 for renovations and improvements. The money comes from the recreation passports you can buy when you renew your car registration.

In all, the DNR is giving almost $2 million to nearly 20 communities this year.

Dan Lord is the Grant Programs Manager with the Michigan DNR. He says the dollar amount is “$1,993,500 to be exact. And that will touch 18 communities across the state, a nice range of projects from campground improvements to splash pads, to trail heads. Everything that’s kind of driven by the local needs.”

The grants support local units of government, like counties, cities, townships, and villages.

Lord says when people go to the Secretary of State, they have the option to opt in and purchase an $11 Recreation Passport. (That passport will be $12 starting March 1).

While that passport allows entry into 103 state parks and recreation areas, 140 state forest campgrounds, and access to state trails, historic sites, and boating access sites; it also helps local parks projects.

Lord says, “10% of that $11 goes into this grant fund that we make available to those local units of government. So this is one we really like to promote because the more people that participate, the more funding that becomes available at that local level.”

Other grants in our area include:

  • $150,000 for Betsie Valley Trail Reconstruction in Benzie County
  • $150,000 for Platte River Park ADA Parking, Walkways and Restrooms in Benzie County
  • $85,000 for Secret Campground and RV Park Improvements in Ogemaw County
  • $150,000 for Anna Howard Shaw Memorial Park Improvements in Big Rapids, Mecosta County

For a full list of this year’s grants, Click Here.

In all, 70 different park projects applied for more than $70 million in funding. To learn more about the DNR grant process, Click Here.