Sen. MacDonald supports area natural resources projects

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Thursday supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects for 2019, including three projects in Macomb County.

“I was proud to support these tremendous area projects, which will help create more and better outdoor recreation opportunities for Macomb County families,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “These projects are excellent illustrations of why the state created the Natural Resources Trust Fund over 40 years ago — to preserve our great outdoors, enhance access to public recreation and improve the quality of life for residents of all ages.”

House Bill 4244 would authorize the NRTF to use $26 million in restricted funds to support 30 land acquisition projects and 34 development projects. Local matching funds of $15.9 million would bring the total investment to $41.9 million.

Clinton Township would receive funding for two projects. The township would receive $175,000 toward a $250,000 acquisition of residential property that is virtually surrounded by existing township parkland. Once acquired, the land would be used for a variety of recreational activities in the popular George George and Woodrow Woody parks.

The township would also get $264,600 for a $378,000 acquisition of 6.3 acres of vacant land near the Clinton River Spillway Drain for public outdoor recreation purposes.

Macomb County would also see a $150,000 investment in Harrison Township by the trust fund to make $260,000 in improvements at Waterfront Park along Lake St. Clair. The project would replace the existing seawall and add park amenities, including a kayak launch, boardwalk, sidewalk, trees, furnishings and educational exhibits.

“The vibrant parks and recreational resources supported by this restricted funding will help make our region and state a better place to live, work and raise a family,” MacDonald said. “It will also help encourage active lifestyles, good health and appreciation of our natural resources.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The fund’s dollars are constitutionally restricted to recreation improvements and land acquisitions.