Schmidt supports Natural Resources Trust Fund grant recommendations for upper Michigan

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt expressed his support for grant recommendations announced by the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) board for numerous recreational development and land acquisition projects in the 37th Senate District.

“The Natural Resources Trust Fund provides valuable support to numerous projects across upper Michigan,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “If approved, these additional funds will help to provide welcome improvements so that residents and visitors will be able to better enjoy natural resources in our part of the state.”

The board’s overall recommendations total more than $47.6 million for projects statewide in 2017, including $19.9 million in recreational development and $27.7 million in land acquisition projects.

The total recommended investment for communities in Schmidt’s district surpasses $7 million.

The board’s recommendations must first go to the state Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process before being sent to the governor for signature.

Per the NRTF, details of the grant recommendations are as follows:

Antrim County — Milton Township, Maplehurst Natural Area Acquisition — $1,924,200
Acquisition of a 389-acre former camp property for a new public recreation area. Property includes entire 60-acre Maplehurst Lake, northern hardwood forest and open meadows. The property is suited for hiking and cross country ski trails, fishing, wildlife viewing and boating.

Charlevoix County — Boyne Valley Township, Boyne River Acquisition — $50,000
Acquisition of a one-acre site with road access to property owned by the village of Boyne Falls on the Boyne River. This acquisition provides the only access point to view the falls in Boyne Falls and the only connection to property owned by the village of Boyne Falls on the Boyne River. The property will be used for parking and access to view of the falls, fishing along the river on village property and potential for access to future water trails.

Charlevoix County —City of Boyne City Open Space Acquisition — $2,438,800
Acquisition of 4.6 acres with 600 feet of shoreline on Lake Charlevoix. The site will be used as an open space park available for general public use and in turn enhance the economic development opportunity for adjacent properties including the public boat launch and commercial and residential properties in the immediate area.

Charlevoix County — City of Boyne, Boyne Valley Trail Development — Phase 1 — $300,000
Development of 3.6 miles of the 6.1-mile, paved, non-motorized, all-season Boyne Valley Trailway connecting the city of Boyne to the village of Boyne Falls. This trailway will extend and enhance the Regional Trail System by connecting Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail and the Little Traverse Wheelway. Phase I of the trailway project connects to Boyne City streets with a trailhead at the Boyne City Airport with existing paved parking and modern bathroom facilities. At mile point 1.4 the trail provides access to the Boyne River Nature Area that includes a pavilion, benches and a nature trail leading to the Boyne River. At mile point 2.4 the trail passes through the Boyne Valley Township Park (recreational property) with planned future improvements for trail users that include parking, benches, solar lighting, and vault restrooms. Phase I ends at mile point 3.6 where the trail connects to the Boyne Falls Public School and includes use of the paved parking lot.

Cheboygan County — DNR, Black River Property — $375,000
Acquisition of four acres located on the Black River for improved boating access on Black Lake. Existing boating access on Black Lake has limited ability to expand to provide safe and adequate public access on the lake due to site constraints. Acquisition of this site will allow DNR to develop a suitable boating access site that meets current state standards and will improve safety, functionality and efficiency of public boating recreation on Black Lake and the Black River.

Cheboygan County — Burt Township, Burt Lake Trail Development (Phase 2) — $295,000
Development to extend Burt Lake Trail approximately 3.1 miles to provide the connection from W. Burt Lake Road to E. Burt Lake Road around the north end of Burt Lake in both Burt and Munro townships. The 10-foot-wide, paved, non-motorized trail will be separated from the adjacent roadway. Ultimately, the route will provide critical links to connect the Petoskey-to-Mackinaw Trail in Brutus to the North Central State Trail/Iron Belle Trail in Topinabee. The trail route will traverse a unique natural area owned by the University of Michigan Biological Station known for abundant wildlife and pristine woodlands.

Emmet County — DNR, Iron Belle Trail — Bechek Property — $145,000
Acquisition of 40 acres of undeveloped land for the purposes of securing permanent site control for the hiking route of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail, as well as securing permanent site control for Snowmobile Trail #760. This acquisition will also provide for a recreation and wildlife corridor between state forest land to the east and city of Petoskey land to the west.

Emmet County — Littlefield Township, Blumke to Milton Road Trail Acquisition — $99,000
Acquisition of a half-mile corridor to enhance the North Western State Trail. The property is immediately north of the existing trail, which is located within the US 31 Highway (Oden Road) right-of-way. Acquisition of the property would allow for immediate use for snowmobiles in the winter away from the highway and would protect the land for possible future non-motorized trail realignment. It will allow the community to retain the scenic character of the trail for future generations to enjoy.

Emmet County — City of Petoskey, Petoskey Downtown Greenway Non-motorized Trail South Segment — $293,600
Development of the South Segment of the Downtown Greenway Non-Motorized Trail between Emmet Street and Mitchell Street. Property is held by the city in fee simple and is a part of the 1.1-mile-long Downtown Greenway Corridor, a planned redevelopment of a former rail corridor now owned by the city. Proposed improvements include a lighted, 10-foot-wide, non-motorized concrete trail, enhanced pedestrian road crossings, benches, litter receptacles, historic markers, bicycle racks, wayfinding and interpretive signage, stormwater improvements and landscaping. All applicable improvements will meet universal accessibility requirements.

Emmet County — Littlefield Township, Hay Lake Marina Park and Watertrail Trailhead — $280,000
Redevelopment of a former private marina that is a key boating access and trailhead location for the Inland Waterway Trail. Development plans for this phase include a public marina, small boat launch, universally accessible canoe/kayak launch, elevated wetland overlook, water trailhead with car-trailer and car parking, universally accessible restroom/shower building and amenities.

Grand Traverse County — Acme Township, Bayside Park Development — $300,000
Development of Bayside Park, a gateway to Acme Township on the Grand Traverse Bay and a trailhead for the Lake Michigan Water Trail. All improvements will be universally accessible, including walkways throughout the park, beach access matting and transfer seat, playground, shade structures, parking, amenities and trailhead signs. The project will incorporate environmental features, including landscaping with native plants and rain gardens.

Luce County — DNR, Muskallonge Lake Campground Accessibility Improvements — $300,000
Development to modernize campsites by providing barrier-free access and improved vehicular circulation within Muskallonge Lake State Park. The current campsites will be improved to maintain a safe and functional camping experience for park visitors and to attract new visitors in the growing tourism market of Northern Michigan. The campground will also be a very useful accommodation for users of the North Country Iron Belle Trail.

Mackinac County — Clark Township, Cedarville Harbor — $294,800
Development to expand and improve Cedarville Harbor, a transient recreational harbor facility centrally located within the Les Cheneaux Islands along the northernmost shoreline of Lake Huron. The 12-mile coastal region includes 36 islands of sheltered channels and bays and a historic harbor for recreational boaters, paddlers and explorers. The pristine waters inspired conservation writer Aldo Leopold in his youth. The project includes a 248-foot head pier with 16 finger slips and launch ramp expansion. The project would feature a new parking lot and harbormaster building complete with accessible shower and restroom facilities. The project is also supported by the Michigan Waterways Commission.