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Sen. MacDonald supports $450M for state and local parks

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Thursday voted for legislation to invest $450 million into making critical improvements to state and local parks and trails.

“Our parks and trails are important parts of a high quality of life for many Michigan families, and this funding will ensure they are safe and accessible for people to enjoy for generations to come,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “As the number of people heading out to our parks dramatically increased during the pandemic, it exposed the need for improvements to historic areas and infrastructure.

“I strongly support investing some of our one-time federal funds to address our aging park facilities and improve outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of people in Macomb and throughout our state.”

Senate Bill 565 is a supplemental budget bill that includes $250 million to make infrastructure upgrades at state parks and recreation areas and $200 million for improvements at local parks and trails.

It includes $65 million for a new local park grant program modeled after the existing Recreation Passport Grant program — similar to SB 704, which MacDonald introduced in 2021 to invest federal funds in local government grants to improve public recreation facilities and parks.

“I sponsored legislation last year and supported this funding because our parks help people live healthy lives and support our communities by attracting tourists, talent, and job providers to our state,” MacDonald said. “The new funding includes a huge $60 million investment in the Joe Louis Greenway in Detroit to link multiple neighborhoods along a 27.5-mile hiking and biking recreational trail — which is great news for families in the city and the entire region.”

SB 565 now heads to the governor to be signed.