Communities should take advantage of Natural Resources Trust Fund

By State Rep. Jon Bumstead

R-Newaygo

Every year, local communities throughout our state can apply for funding from Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund for development projects and land acquisition. This funding can be used for projects that range from enhancing local parks to purchasing land to extend biking trails. Local communities benefit from the funding delivered by the Natural Resources Trust Fund and it helps secure our state’s beautiful natural resources.

Funding within the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from revenue the state brings in from leases of state land. This funding is constitutionally restricted to be spent on local development and acquisition projects within our communities. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) approves as many projects as it can based on the amount of revenue available in the trust fund.

As chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on DNR, I am a strong supporter of efforts to improve Michigan’s beauty through this valuable program. We have a tremendous amount of natural beauty that we have enjoyed for generations. As residents of this state, it is our job to take steps now to ensure that future generations can enjoy this same beauty. This program gives us a way to complete these improvement projects, which might not have the funds to be completed any other way.

This year, the Village of Luther in Lake County took advantage of this program and applied for a grant to improve Luther Mill Pond. I’m pleased that their request was approved and Luther will receive $84,000 for a new trail system, fishing pier, and educational garden, as well as updates to the basketball courts and parking lot. These changes are going to be a great addition for local residents. Last year, five local communities within the 100th District took advantage of this program and received funding.

This year, the Natural Resources Trust Fund awarded grants for 99 projects throughout the state totaling more than $39 million. I am pleased that communities are taking advantage of this opportunity and encourage others to apply for this funding next year. To help our communities get a leg up in the application process for next year, I will be hosting workshops throughout the 100th District over the next few months for local governments that will include representatives from the DNR to explain the application process and answer questions. I encourage local leaders to attend one of these workshops and get on the right track to bringing more Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars to the 100th District in future years.

If you have questions about the Natural Resources Trust Fund or need assistance with any state-related issue, please feel free to contact my office toll free at (877) 999-0995 or by email at JonBumstead@house.mi.gov.

Jon Bumstead represents the 100th District in the Michigan House of Representatives which consists of Lake, Newaygo and Oceana Counties.