Osceola County project included on Natural Resources Trust Fund 2017 list

LANSING — State Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, applauded the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) board for including an Osceola County project in its list of recommendations for 2017.

“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. “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.”

The NRTF board recommendations for 2017 include using $300,000 to construct 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 safer, more accessible surface along the trail, which connects nearly three dozen communities from Cadillac to Grand Rapids.

“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,” Emmons said. “By improving the quality of the trail, we can better enable residents to spend quality time outdoors and also help attract tourists and economic development to the corridor.”

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.

Since its creation in 1976, the NRTF has awarded more than $1 billion for land acquisition and public outdoor recreation development projects for communities in every county.

The NRTF board’s recommendations for projects in 2017 will now head to the Legislature for review as part of the budget process.