Pavlov applauds Natural Resources Trust Fund recommendations

LANSING – Sen. Phil Pavlov announced on Tuesday that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board of trustees recently included three St. Clair County development projects and land acquisitions among its recommendations for 2015.

“For nearly 40 years, the Natural Resources Trust Fund has remained dedicated to making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family by enhancing recreational opportunities throughout the state,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “By using these constitutionally restricted funds to improve our quality of life with vibrant parks and outdoor resources, the fund also helps make our state more attractive to job creators and top talent.”

The Trust Fund board considered 156 applications seeking funding for 2015. After a competitive process in which all requests were evaluated, the board recommend to the Legislature that 69 natural resources improvement projects totaling $24.7 million be funded next year.

Included among the 44 development grant recommendations was $295,000 to Port Huron toward an improvement of Lakeside Park. The proposed project would provide accessible beach and concession access, a comfort station, splash pad, beachside walkway and pathway accessibility.

Pavlov said that the board also recommended two land acquisitions in St. Clair County:

  • $666,000 toward an acquisition of 9.15 acres of vacant land on Bouvier Bay at Beaubien Creek to provide universal access to the riverfront for swimming, fishing, paddling, and a rest stop for bicyclists and sightseers; and
  • $118,400 to help acquire 2.1 acres of land on the St. Clair River along the Blue Water River Walk that will help support activities on the adjacent walk, the river and restored wetlands. The fully accessible recreation facilities that will be developed on the parcel will include a children’s playground, small picnic shelter, bike racks, interpretive and information panels, picnic tables and native trees and shrubs.

“These local projects will help provide greater access to Michigan’s great outdoors,” Pavlov said. “I applaud the board for its recommendations and the local community leaders who worked hard to put forth projects that will benefit our state for generations to come.”

The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The board’s recommendations will now go to the Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process.