Editor's note: In my opinion, the Recreation Passport has been a success story for Michigan. It's going on its sixth year now and, according to a terrific July, 2015 article by Ted Roelofs for Bridge Magazine, revenue for park improvement jumped from $13.9 million in 2009 (the last year of the sticker system) to $15.1 million, $16 million, $16.7 million and $17.6 million in succeeding fiscal years. It's a user fee that has earned the trust, and more importantly the participation, of non-users.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that 33 communities across the state will share $1,348,700 in Recreation Passport grants. Funding for this program is derived from sales of the Recreation Passport, the $11 annual pass that grants residents vehicle entry at state parks and recreation areas throughout Michigan.
The full list of grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions is available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassportgrants.
Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to increase public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities. The selected projects were chosen from a field of 45 grant applications seeking nearly $1.8 million in funding.
“These Recreation Passport grants go a long way in helping local units of government bring quality recreation opportunities to their citizens,” said Steve DeBrabander, DNR grants manager. “We are proud to work with these agencies so that, together, we can create world-class outdoor recreation resources statewide. The recreation industry plays an important role in moving the state’s economy forward by providing vital jobs and tourism in both urban and rural settings.”
Application materials for future Recreation Passport grants are available now at www.michigan.gov/dnr-grants. Interested individuals also may call DNR Grants Management at 517-284-7268 or write to:
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 30425
Lansing, MI 48909-7925
Learn more about how the Recreation Passport gains you access to Michigan state parks and more at www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.