LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — A state panel has recommended awarding $26 million in grants for outdoor recreation projects and land purchases, including approximately $3.82 million for Ottawa Sands.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board last week forwarded its selections to the state Legislature for consideration.
The board each year endorses candidates to receive support from a fund derived through payments for development of state-owned minerals such as oil and gas.
Its 2018 list includes $7.4 million for 34 recreation projects and $18.6 million for 30 land acquisitions. Recipients are required to provide matching funds.
The grant recommended for Ottawa Sands would repay a federal loan, paving the way for the Land Conservancy of West Michigan to transfer 157 acres to Ottawa County Parks, which would likely happen next summer.
Ottawa County Parks currently owns 188 acres of the 345-acre property in Ferrysburg.
Other grants recommended this year would pay to expand public access at popular beach destinations, add snowmobile and multiuse trail easements, improve facilities and playgrounds at urban parks, build new trails, connectors and water trails, and expand sports fields.