Hike funding

Local parks get financial boost

(source: City of Auburn)

Auburn City Park in Bay County will receive nearly $250,000 for improvements through a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The park near US 10 will use the new resources to improve accessibility. The trail inside the park will be renovated and widened, and an accessible canoe/kayak boat launch will be added. Parking and accessible walkways will be included to connect visitors to picnic tables and other areas.

The Auburn project has been included in the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund’s annual recommendations, which require approval and input from the Legislative Assembly. Money for the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from mineral development on state lands and is distributed on an annual basis in partnership with local governments. The money must be used for recreational development projects or land acquisition and cannot be used for any other purpose, according to the Michigan Constitution.

The Michigan Legislature also recently approved funding to make several improvements to the Thomas Township Nature Preserve.

The $300,000 investment will help build a new hiking trail, covered picnic pavilion, and fishing and viewing platform in the nature preserve, located along the Tittabawassee River on the east side of the township.

The 0.7 mile hiking trail will be 8 feet wide and fully accessible. It will include six rest areas that can be used for resting or observing nature. Interpretive signs will highlight the history of the Tittabawassee River, the location of the reserve, native plantings and habitat restoration projects. The observation deck and pavilion area will also be fully accessible.

Funding for both projects is part of Senate Bill 1028, which includes $45.6 million for 22 land acquisitions and 95 recreational development projects statewide with revenue from the Children’s Trust Fund. natural resources. The fund’s board approved its recommendations in December 2021 and the projects have been approved with overwhelming support by the House and Senate last week. The measure is pending review by Governor Whitmer.