DNR announces next round of state park infrastructure projects

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 2:52 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is starting a second round of infrastructure projects at state parks.

The DNR received a total of $250 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address critical needs at state parks. These funds are part of a $4.8 billion infrastructure package signed in March as part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Building Michigan Together Plan.

“Michigan’s beautiful, award-winning state parks are the backdrop of countless memories for millions of people every year,” Whitmer said. “In April, I was proud to work across the aisle and sign the Building Michigan Together Plan, which made the largest investment ever in our state and local parks. The plan will fund improvements, renovations and upgrades, ensuring our parks remain great places to visit and continue to support tens of thousands of jobs and countless local economies. Pure Michigan is anchored by our state parks, and I will work with anyone to keep investing in them and powering tourism and recreation small businesses across the state. Let’s keep working together to ensure our public parks can thrive for generations.”

DNR Director Dan Eichinger called the funding a historic investment in Michigan’s state parks and recreation system.

“Our staff puts in a tremendous effort to keep things running efficiently and offer quality outdoor experiences for everyone, but it has been a challenge, especially as we welcome record numbers of visitors,” Eichinger said. “This is an unprecedented, one-time funding wave that allows us to direct vital resources toward a decades-long backlog of repair and maintenance needs.”

The second round has more than 100 projects, grouped into 40 contracts, for a proposed investment of $108.8 million. The DNR said all projects were sustainably designed to be environmentally sensitive and cost-efficient when possible.

Several parks throughout the state will be improving buildings, utilities, and much more with the federal funding. Michiganders can track the progress with the DNR’s dashboard online.

The Port Crescent State Park in Huron County is one of the 16 projects that will receive repairs to its parking lots and roads. The park’s water, sewer, and electrical systems will also be replaced and modernized.

In Iosco County, the Tawas Point State Park’s campground electrical system will be replaced and modernized.

The first round of projects was announced in June. The first two projects at Straits and Cheboygan state parks will break ground as early as this fall.

The ARPA funding also includes up to $30.2 million to develop a new state park in Flint.

The DNR is expected to announce the third and final round of projects later this year. Some projects have already started but need more investment to be completed. This includes $37.8 million for trails across the state.