Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Grants starting at $30,000 to Michigan government agencies, schools, and tribal organizations for the development of outdoor recreational areas benefiting the public. Plans must be submitted prior to submission of the full application. Eligible activities must be development projects related to public outdoor recreation, such as trails, picnic areas, beaches, campgrounds, boating access, and fishing areas.
The overarching goal for the 2018–2022 program is to protect and manage Michigan’s diverse and abundant natural and cultural assets to provide relevant, quality experiences that meet the fun, relaxation, and health needs of Michigan’s residents and visitors, and support economic prosperity.
This goal is best achieved by meeting the following objectives:
- Foster stewardship and conservation: Natural and cultural resources are protected and residents and visitors are effective stewards of those resources.
- Improve collaboration: Outdoor recreation stakeholders collaborate and cooperate to ensure that Michigan’s recreation system meets the needs of residents and visitors.
- Raise awareness: Residents and visitors are aware of the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan and have access to relevant information to connect with these opportunities.
- Improve recreational access: Recreation opportunities are connected and accessible to residents and visitors of all backgrounds, abilities, means, and geographic locations.
- Provide quality experiences: Michigan’s outdoor recreation system provides users with quality experiences in balance with resource management and conservation.
- Enhance health benefits: Outdoor recreation increases physical activity and the health of Michigan’s residents and visitors.
- Enhance prosperity: Outdoor recreation advances economic prosperity and supports a high quality of life as well as talent retention in Michigan’s communities.
A variety of development projects for public outdoor recreation facilities are eligible for funding through the LWCF program. Examples include, but are not limited to, trailways, picnic areas, beaches, campgrounds, boating access, fishing areas, winter sports areas, playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, and skate parks. Facilities needed to support outdoor recreation such as restrooms and storage buildings as well as facilities for the interpretation of natural resources and features are also eligible.
Renovation of existing facilities is eligible, if the facility has reached its useful life and inadequate maintenance, poor design, or construction was not the cause of the facilities’ poor or unsafe condition.
Receiving LWCF assistance commits the grantee to certain long-term responsibilities. These commitments include:
- The land included in the boundary of the project site must remain in public outdoor recreation use in perpetuity.
- The grantee must maintain the site, including facilities constructed with grant assistance and any other facilities necessary for their use, such as entrance drives, parking walkways, and restrooms. This includes access in compliance with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
- A permanent sign identifying the site as LWCF assisted must be posted in a highly visible location within the park. All new projects must install a 12” x 18” LWCF sign from Rotary Multiforms, Inc.
- An entrance sign identifying the park as a public recreation site open to all users must be prominently displayed.
Eligible sheltered facilities – Swimming pools and ice-skating rinks located in areas that meet cold climatic criteria, shelters of permanent construction may partially or completely enclose these facilities to protect them against cold weather conditions and thereby significantly increase the recreation opportunities provided.
As part of the application, you will be required to justify the project in the context of the recreation opportunities already present or readily available to your community. An important aspect of your project justification is how well you are able to operate and maintain the parks you already have, especially those funded with grant assistance, as well as your future means to operate and maintain your proposed project. This information should be contained in your recreation plan as well, or you may provide it in your application.
The DNR encourages intergovernmental collaboration and cooperation in the provision of public outdoor recreation. Collaboration that reduces costs, eliminates redundancy, and has a long-term effect is the goal.
GrantWatch ID#: 148057
The minimum grant amount is $30,000 ($60,000 total project cost) and the maximum grant amount is $300,000 ($600,000 total project cost). The match percentage must be exactly 50 percent.
Any unit of government, including Native American tribes, school districts, or any combination of units in which authority is legally constituted to provide recreation may apply. Applicants must have a DNR-approved community five-year recreation plan to be eligible.
The following entities are eligible to submit a LWCF grant application:
- State agencies and local units of government, including cities, villages, townships, and counties, or any combination thereof in which an authority is legally established to provide public recreation, such as:
- Regional recreation authorities formed under the Recreational Authorities Act, 2000 PA 321, and trailway commissions formed under Part 721, Michigan Trailways Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended.
- Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.
- Federally recognized Native American Tribes.
- School districts are eligible to apply if they meet the requirements given in Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Plans (IC1924).
Colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations are not eligible for LWCF funding.
Acquisition of land is not eligible for LWCF funding.
Private land not is eligible. Applicants must possess sufficient title and adequate legal control of the property.
Projects that are not eligible include:
- Indoor recreation facilities – LWCF assistance will not be provided for support facilities or portions thereof that contribute primarily to public indoor activities such as meeting rooms; auditoriums; libraries; study areas; restaurants; lodges, motels; luxury cabins; furnishings; food preparation equipment; kitchens and equipment sales areas. Bathhouses, public restrooms, maintenance sheds, etc., are potentially eligible for LWCF assistance since their basic function is to provide support for outdoor recreation facilities.
- Facilities and/or stadiums designed for viewing of professional or semi-professional arts or athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports.
- Amphitheaters, band shells, and permanent seating associated with them.
- Art displays, decorative fountains, and facilities for historical interpretation.
- Projects which would create an unfairly competitive situation with private enterprises. In situations where privately managed facilities are providing identical or similar recreation opportunities, the applicant must provide additional written justification of the need for the proposed facility in light of the private sector's presence.
- Projects that are primary sidewalk in a road or street right-of-way and located within a municipality. 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 for LWCF projects.
- 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.
Contaminated properties are not eligible for grant assistance. Properties with past contamination problems may be considered for funding if all cleanup measures have been completed at the time the application is submitted to the DNR. Verification from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and/or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that all clean up actions have been satisfactorily completed must be submitted with the grant application. Environmental assessment costs and costs for cleanup actions are not reimbursable.
Applications must be submitted in MiRecGrants no later than April 1 each year. To be eligible to apply for a recreation grant, the 5-year recreation plan must be submitted on or before February 1 of the application year.
The applicant is responsible for providing the public adequate opportunity to review and comment on the proposed application. At a minimum, you must hold one public meeting to receive input about the application. This meeting must be held within the six-month time period before the application deadline and before a resolution committing to the application is passed by your local governing body. Public meetings focused on review of your recreation plan will not meet your obligations for public input for
your grant application unless the meeting notice and agenda indicate that the meeting will cover both recreation plan review and the specific grant application.
There is no limit to the number of applications that can be submitted within a funding cycle. However, the applicant will be asked to prioritize multiple applications. Each application must be a standalone project, that is, not dependent on another project application in order to be constructed.
All grants are paid as reimbursement for actual expenses (i.e. the community pays for the work and is then reimbursed at 50 percent 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. Overhead, maintenance, administration, and cost overruns are not eligible for assistance.
The local community must provide a portion of the total project cost; this is the local match. The LWCF program requires a 50 percent (fixed) match. The local match for costs can be met by cash outlay and credit for certain locally assumed costs directly related to the construction of the proposed project, including charges for local government-owned equipment and labor performed by the applicant’s employees. Donations of goods and services may be used as all or a part of the local share if the applicant specifies the nature and can document actual value of the items or services.
Other match limitations:
- Land acquisition costs and land donations are not eligible as match.
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are the only source of federal funds that can be used as match toward LWCF grants.
- Local units of government cannot match LWCF with Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund or Recreation Passport grants.
Match commitments must be secured no later than October 1st in the year the application was made.
- February 2019: Application period starts in MiRecGrants.
- February 1, 2019: Recreation plans and plan amendments must be submitted electronically to Grants Management by this date.
- April 1, 2019: Application period closes.
- April 2019: Applicants will receive notification with questions for explanation, clarification, and/or supplementation of information provided in the application.
- May – July 2019: Grants Management staff conducts review of all applications and conducts site visits.
- September 2019: Supplemental scores go out to grantees.
- September – October 2019: Supplemental Information deadline. Grants Management staff reviews supplemental materials and completes final scores.
- December 2019: LWCF recommended projects are submitted to the DNR Director for final recommendation.
- Winter 2020: Director issues recommended applications. Applicant prepares final application documents for inclusion in state application to the National Park Service.
- Spring 2020: Project Agreements Issued. Timeframe dependent on final approval by the National Park Service.
Grant Information: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350-79134_79209_81658---,00.html
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
To apply: https://secure1.state.mi.us/MIRGS/Login2.aspx?APPTHEME=MIDNR
Christie Bayus, Program Manager
Phone: (517) 284-7268 (517-28-GRANT)
Fax: (517) 241-0013