Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Grants starting at $7,500 to Michigan local government agencies to develop new public recreation facilities or to renovate existing facilities. Funding is intended for local development programs that focus on improving established recreation facilities in parks; however, the construction of new facilities or parks is also eligible.
Receiving Recreation Passport grant assistance commits the grantee to certain long-term responsibilities, including:
- The land included in the boundary of this project site must remain open to public outdoor recreation use for the useful life of the facilities being constructed, which is generally a 20-year minimum if no structures are constructed or 40 years if a structure is constructed using Recreation Passport Grant Program funding.
- Funded projects must post a grant funding sign on the project site in a prominent location for the life of the facilities. A sign will be provided by the Recreation Passport program.
- An entrance sign identifying the site as a public outdoor recreation site open to all users must be prominently displayed.
- The recreation site must be open to all users – resident and non-resident. If a fee is charged, the non-resident fee shall be no greater than twice the resident fee.
Facilities that are used for viewing of professional or semi-professional art, athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports, but whose primary purpose is the active recreational use by the general public for at least 75% of normal operation hours, are allowed.
GrantWatch ID#: 143873
Development project minimum/maximum grant amount is $7,500 to $150,000.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
Applications must be submitted into MiRecGrants by April 1 each year.
- April 2019: Applicants will receive notifications with questions for explanation, clarification, and/or supplementation of information provided in the application.
- May – July 2019: Grants Management staff reviews all applications and conducts site visits.
- September 2019: Preliminary scores available to applicants. Supplemental period begins.
- September – October 2019: Grants Management staff review supplemental materials and complete final score evaluations.
- December 2019: Recreation Passport Grant recommended projects are submitted to the DNR Director for final recommendation.
- Early 2020: Project Agreements are issued in MiRecGrants.
Each application submitted must be for a single park site or contiguous trail. Applications for multiple sites must be submitted as individual applications. No more than three Recreation Passport applications may be submitted for funding per year. If submitting more than one application the entity must rank the project in order of highest priority (submitting multiple applications with similar facilities in one park location is not allowed).
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). Only those costs directly associated with the construction of the project will be reimbursed, including engineering costs and the costs associated with obtaining permits.
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. Matching funds can come from the following sources:
a) General Funds or Local Restricted Funds: Local cash from the applicant’s general fund or restricted recreation funds.
b) Force Account Labor/Materials: The applicant’s paid employees who will work directly on the construction of the project or the cost of materials you already own that will be used in the construction of the project. This value cannot include administration or supervision costs but may include engineering and other professional services.
c) Federal or Other State Funds: Other Federal or State grant fund dollar amounts that have been awarded for funding within the RPGP grant project period.
d) Cash Donations: Cash generated from donations, fund-raising, or other similar means.
e) Donated Labor/Materials
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Apply online: https://secure1.state.mi.us/MIRGS/Login2.aspx?APPTHEME=MIDNR