Recreation Passport Grant Workshops

The Recreation Passport grant program was created using the funds generated from the State’s new park passport purchasing system, the same passes you can purchase when you renew  your driver’s license.

MDNR will be conducting several workshops in central/northern Michigan soon. Participants will learn about how to apply for grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund program, and the Recreation Passport Grant program.

Tuesday, February 5 – Big Rapids 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Holiday Inn, 1005 Perry Street, Big Rapids

Thursday, February 7 – Grayling 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Days Inn Grayling,
2556 Business Loop South I-75, Grayling

April 1, 2013 Grant Application Deadline: All Recreation Passport Grant applications must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than April 1, 2013.

October, 2013 Recommended projects are submitted to DNR Director for review and selection.

December, 2013 DNR Director announces projects selected for Recreation Passport funding.

The grant program may only be used for local development projects. The program is focused on renovating and improving existing parks, but the development of new parks is eligible. The minimum grant amount is $7,500 and the maximum grant amount is $45,000. This is a reimbursement program with a 25% local match.

Eligible projects will have the primary purpose of providing public recreation opportunities or facilities and infrastructure to support public recreation activity. In addition, projects must fulfill the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  1. Current annual capital improvement plan (CIP) – plan must include the proposed project. If your community does not have a CIP, you must have a current approved recreation plan on file with the DNR.
  2. The applicant must own, have a perpetual easement, or lease the project site.
  • For leased sites: 20-year minimum if no structure; 40 years if structure involved. Any exception must be approved by DNR.
  • Leased sites with a term of less than 20 years beyond the application date are not eligible to receive grant assistance unless the lessor is a government entity and agrees to assume all grant obligations in the event that the lessor takes control of the project site.
  • Sites with lease agreements that allow for early termination of the agreement without cause are not eligible.
  • Applicants with a project on leased land or facilities must provide the lease agreement in the application for DNR review.
  • Unimpeded access to the project site must be secured through ownership or an easement of term no less than the length of time that control of the project site is secured.
  • The grantee must, at a minimum, design and maintain the facilities subject to the application in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended. Facilities that are designed for universal accessibility are strongly encouraged.

Ineligible projects include:

  • Facilities and/or stadiums utilized primarily for the viewing of professional or semi-professional art, athletics, or intercollegiate or interscholastic sports. 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.
  • Routine maintenance projects – these funds cannot be used to supplement the operational budget for maintenance of local parks and recreation departments.
  • Routine operational expenses.


The agency is also updating its guidelines for five-year rec plans. There is a webinar online here.

Recreation Passport Grant Workshops

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