Emmons supports area projects in Natural Resources Trust Fund bill

Sen. Judy Emmons

Sen. Judy Emmons

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Judy Emmons supported three area projects in the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill signed by the governor on Thursday.

“Making Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family can also help us attract new talent and jobs to our region,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “For 40 years, the Natural Resources Trust Fund has helped us achieve these goals by improving our parks and recreational opportunities and enhancing people’s enjoyment of Michigan’s great outdoors.”

Senate Bill 76 authorizes the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and 87 development projects. Matching funds of $40.1 million bring the total investment to more than $87.7 million.

The bill uses $228,400 to improve the Lake Station Trailhead on the Pere Marquette Rail Trail in Clare County and $296,000 to make improvements at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Stanton, which will serve as a trailhead for the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail.

“Both of these trailhead projects will better enable residents to spend quality time outdoors with their families and give outdoor enthusiasts more access to the trails for walking and biking,” Emmons said. “The veteran’s park development includes adding maps, exercise stations, bike racks and a bike repair station for people to use; and the Lake Station project will highlight the area’s historic railway depot building and nearby coal tower as part of a four-season trailhead.”

SB 76 also directs $300,000 into construction of 11.8 miles of asphalt pathway as part of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park from Leroy to Reed City.

“The project continues an effort to create a safe and accessible trail connecting nearly three dozen communities from Cadillac to Grand Rapids,” Emmons said. “This scenic rail trail is a wonderful asset to West Michigan — offering residents and visitors a unique chance to enjoy the outdoors and see the small-town charm that makes our state so great.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The trust fund is constitutionally restricted for natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.