LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas supported Midland and Beaverton projects in the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill signed by the governor on Thursday.
“Many Michigan families and visitors revel in having fun in the great outdoors,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The Natural Resources Trust Fund was created four decades ago to invest constitutionally restricted resources into creating outstanding recreational opportunities in our state, and that is exactly what the projects in Midland and Beaverton will do.”
Senate Bill 76 authorizes the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and 87 development projects. Matching funds of $40.1 million bring the total investment to more than $87.7 million.
The bill invests $50,000 toward a $163,000 improvement to the trailhead along the Gladwin-Beaverton Trail in Beaverton. The project will improve the boat launch on Ross Lake, provide easier access for boaters and canoers, and pave parking spaces. Enhanced access to the trail will also provide a safe place for drop offs and for staging areas.
“This project will offer a tremendous opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to spend time biking or hiking with their families on the trail or enjoying a day out on the water,” Stamas said.
In Midland, $295,000 in trust fund dollars will go toward a $405,000 project in Emerson Park along the Tittabawassee River. The project will repurpose an abandoned water intake pump station into a two-story river overlook area. It also includes an ADA fishing dock, a riverfront boardwalk, gathering plaza, park areas and a new parking lot. Invasive exotic plant species will be removed from the riverbank and replaced with native species to re-establish the native flora.
“Once completed, this project will enhance people’s enjoyment of the Pere Marquette Rail Trail and enable the park to serve as a welcoming rest stop along the 30-mile long trail,” Stamas said.
The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The trust fund is constitutionally restricted for natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.