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Recreation Passport Grant Program

Grants to Michigan Agencies and Schools to
Develop and Renovate Public Parks

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

LOI Date:


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Grants to Michigan government agencies and school districts to enhance park amenities in local communities. Required documents must be submitted prior to the final deadline. Eligible projects must be accessible to the public. The purpose of funding is to develop local infrastructure and facilities or to provide opportunities for the public to participate in recreational activities.

The grant program may only be used for local development projects. The program is focused on renovating and improving existing facilities at parks, but the development of new facilities or parks is eligible. 

In addition, projects must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  • 5-Year Recreation Plan or Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) – All applicants must submit either a current, 5-Year Recreation Plan or a Capital Improvement Plan to the DNR to be eligible for applications. 
  • Site Control – The applicant must own, have a perpetual easement, or lease the project site. 
  • Accessible Design – It is required that the proposed project meet the accessibility requirements of the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Design Standards; including all proposed recreation facilities, access routes from the proposed facilities to parking and relevant support facilities and for parking for users of the proposed facilities.

For details on long-term obligations and program requirements, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143873

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant amount is $7,500 and the maximum grant amount is $150,000.

Term of Contract:

- The grantee must begin the project within one year of the date the project agreement is issued and be completed within two years or the grant will be subject to forfeiture.
- The grantee may request an extension of no more than 6-months. The request must be made in MiRecGrants no later than 30 days prior to the expiration of the initial term allowed for project completion. The request must include justification for the delay in completion.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local units of government may apply. A local unit of government includes cities, villages, townships, and counties, or any combination thereof in which an authority is legally established to provide public recreation, or the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority or regional recreation authorities formed under the Recreational Authorities Act, 2000 PA 321, or trailway commissions formed under Part 721, Michigan Trailways Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.

School districts are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements given in the “Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plans” (IC1924).

Ineligible projects include:

- Facilities and/or stadiums utilized primarily for the viewing of professional or semi-professional art, athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports.
- Routine maintenance projects – these funds cannot be used to supplement the operational budget for maintenance of local parks and recreation departments.
- Routine operational expenses.
- Amphitheaters, band shells, and permanent seating associated with them.
- Art displays, decorative fountains, and facilities for historical interpretation.
- Projects that would create an unfair competitive situation with private enterprises. In situations where privately managed facilities are providing identical or similar recreation opportunities, the local government must provide additional written justification of the need for the proposed facility in light of the private sector's presence.
- Sidewalk projects that are primarily in road rights-of-way and do not exhibit qualities
associated with recreation trails. In general, traffic control devices in the road right-of-way, such as guardrails, flashing or non-flashing signs or barricades, and electronic crossing signals are not eligible scope items.
- Most improvements to public roadways.
- Invasive species removal, shoreline stabilization, or erosion control which are not associated with development of recreation facilities at the site.

Overhead, maintenance, administration, and cost overruns are not eligible for assistance.

The following costs are not eligible for reimbursement in a development project:

- Contingencies;
- Studies;
- Land acquisition costs;
- Environmental assessments or cleanup;
- Costs associated with the estimation of construction costs, such as consultant fees;
- Costs incurred prior to execution of a project agreement provided by the DNR.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Schedule:

- January 2020 Application Period starts in MiRecGrants.
- February 1, 2020 Recreation plans and plan amendments must be submitted electronically in MiRecGrants by this date.
- April 1, 2020 Application due date. Application period closes in MiRecGrants.
- April 2020 Applicants will receive notifications with questions for explanation, clarification, and/or supplementation of information provided in the application.
- May – July 2020 Grants Management staff reviews all applications and conducts site visits.
- September 2020 Preliminary scores available to applicants. Supplemental period begins.
- September – October Grants Management staff review supplemental materials and complete final score 2020 evaluations.
- December 2020 Recreation Passport Grant recommended projects are submitted to the DNR Director for final recommendation.
- Early 2021 Project Agreements are issued in MiRecGrants.

The grantee must fund at least 25 percent of the total project cost. The applicant match for development costs must be for within the grant project period and can be met by general funds, cash donations, other grants, and force account labor or equipment.

This is a reimbursement program. All grants are paid as reimbursement for actual expenses (i.e. the community pays for the work and is then reimbursed at the percent, listed in the grant agreement, of the cost up to the grant amount).

How to use the online application system:,4570,7-350-79134_81684_79209_81886_92578---,00.html

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

For information or assistance on this publication:
Telephone: (517) 284-7268 (517-28-GRANT)
FAX: (517) 241-0013

Regional contacts:

Upper Peninsula
Merrie Carlock
(517) 284-5931

Lindsay Ross
(517) 284-5916

Erin Campbell
(517) 284-5957

Livingston & Oakland Counties
Merrie Carlock
(517) 284-5931

Andrea Stay
(517) 284-5948

Dan Lord, Section Manager

Rachel Schumaker, Assistant to the Section Manager and MNRTF Board Secretary
(517) 284-7268

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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