14 MI Communities To Share $1.9M In Recreation Passport Grants

Lansing, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded 14 communities a total of $1,906,100 in Recreation Passport grants for projects including beach volleyball courts at a park in Alpena County, a splashpad in Kent County, a new park welcome center in Newaygo County, a project in Wayne County and park development in Berrien and Delta counties.

The recreation passport program started 12 years ago to boost visitors and funding for Michigan state parks, and over a decade later it is also delivering more funding to improve local and community parks and trails across the state. On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit for the local community through job growth and tourism.

“Recreation Passports help more Michiganders explore Pure Michigan and secure critical resources to improve state, local, and community parks,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan has always been a four-season recreation destination, and the enhancements made possible through Recreation Passport grants help ensure residents and visitors of all abilities can enjoy a rich variety of activities and experiences every day of the year.”

Since the introduction of the Recreation Passport in 2010, support for it has steadily grown. The Recreation Passport grant program – which has awarded just over $16.5 million statewide since its inception – is funded from 10% of the passport revenues, with the remaining funding supporting operations, infrastructure and historic and cultural assets in the state parks and recreation system.

Counties where funded grant projects have been approved include Allegan, Alpena, Baraga, Benzie, Berrien, Delta, Eaton, Gladwin, Kent, Newaygo, Sanilac, St. Clair and Wayne counties.




Project Title 

Award Amount 

City of Croswell 

Sanilac County 

Riverbend Park Improvements 


City of Gladwin 

Gladwin County 

Trail of Two Cities Completion 


City of Sandusky 

Sanilac County 

Diamond Trail Bathrooms and Drinking Fountian 


City of Alpena - Alpena 

Alpena County 

Mich-e-ke-wis Park Beach Volleyball Courts 


Ford River Township 

Delta County 

Ford River Township Park 


Village of L'Anse 

Baraga County 

Meadowbrook Arena - Hockey Boards & Glass 


Lowell Charter Township 

Kent County 

Grand River Park Splashpad 


City of Frankfort 

Benzie County 

City of Frankfort Bellows Park Development 


City of Allegan 

Allegan County 

Rossman Park Improvements 


Big Prairie Township 

Newaygo County 

New Welcome Center for Oxbow Park 


City of Potterville 

Eaton County 



City of Romulus 

Wayne County 

Mary Ann Banks Park Social Equity & Universal Access Project 


Weesaw Township 

Berrien County 

Weesaw Township Park Development 


Casco Township 

St. Clair County 

Casco Township Belle River Park Picnic Pavilion  


Selected projects were scored and selected from a field of 35 grant applications seeking $4.4 million in local funding. Successful applicants clearly demonstrated projects designed to broaden public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Every resident who purchases the Recreation Passport is getting amazing value and access to outdoor recreation for themselves, while at the same time helping to improve public outdoor recreation statewide,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Ten percent of Recreation Passport sales goes to local communities via grants, supporting each community’s vision for what it can bring to residents. It’s about making outdoor recreation more accessible to more people. Whether birding with friends at a neighborhood park, playing with your kids in a new splashpad or enjoying a good book beneath the shade of park pavilion, having these places available is incredibly important.”

The application period for the next round of Recreation Passport grant funding opens in early 2023, with applications due April 1. Learn more about the program and application materials at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.

Funding for this program is derived from sales of Michigan’s Recreation Passport, required for vehicle entry into Michigan’s 103 state parks, 140 state forest campgrounds, hundreds of miles of state trails, historic sites, hundreds of boating access sites and other outdoor spaces.

Approximately 97% of state parks funding for operations and maintenance is generated by user fees and royalty revenues. This includes: 

  • 51% from camping and lodging reservation fees. 
  • 26% from Recreation Passport sales. 
  • 15% from state-owned, oil, gas and mineral royalty revenues, which feed the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund. 
  • 5% from concessions, shelter reservations, and miscellaneous sources. 

Governor Whitmer’s State and Local Parks Funding
In 2022, Governor Whitmer signed the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan’s, which will invest approximately $250 million to address a significant backlog of infrastructure, repair, and maintenance needs at 103 existing state parks. Combined with the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $200 million investment in local parks and recreation facilities, Michigan is investing a once-in-a-lifetime total of $450 million to make Michigan’s parks and recreation resources safer, more attractive, and welcoming for residents and visitors.

Economic Benefits of Parks
Parks and recreation facilities are a big part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs and helping sustain small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry supports billions in state Gross Domestic Product and sustains 126,000 jobs and over $4.7 billion in wages and salaries in the state.

On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit, meaning the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will yield $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses, and local communities.

Cookie Policy

This website uses cookies to improve your experience and to show you relevant advertising on our website. By accepting this OR scrolling this page OR continuing to browse, you agree to our privacy policy.