Whitmer announces plan for major investment in state parks

Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans for a major investment in Michigan’s parks system Thursday.

Speaking at the Straits Area State Park in Mackinac County, Whitmer said investing in state parks is vital to the tourism industry in Michigan.

More than 126,000 jobs and more than $4.5 billion in salaries are associated with Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry, according to the governor.

She is asking to use $250 million from the American Rescue Plan for park infrastructure repair, updates and new projects.

“These projects include things like upgrading water and sanitary systems, preserving historic structures and installing and improving vital park infrastructure,” she said. “Parks are also critical pillars of the local economy. Tourism to these parks generated value for surrounding communities creating jobs and sustaining small businesses.”

The federal dollars would still have to be appropriated by the legislature.

According to the department of natural resources, 35 million people visited the state parks last year.

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