City expecting $1.7 million

MARQUETTE – Among $3 million recommended in Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants for the Upper Peninsula, the city of Marquette was expected to receive $1.7 million for new restrooms at three local parks and acquisition of nine acres for the Clark Lambros Beach Park.

In February, the family of former Vango’s Restaurant owner Clark Lambros offered the city the idea of creating the namesake park on land situated between Lakeshore Boulevard and Hawley Street. The family agreed to fund the matching money required for the trust fund grant, with the proceeds from the land sale going toward development of the park.

Lambros died last December at age 80.

The trust fund grant acquisition for the park totals $1.4 million. The acreage includes 1,500 feet of Lake Superior frontage and 500 feet of shoreline along the Dead River.

Marquette was also recommended to receive $296,000 for three new restrooms at Presque Isle, Harlow and Williams parks. The restrooms will have universal access.

Those grant awards were part of seven project, and six land purchase, grants for seven U.P. counties and 76 outdoor recreation development and acquisition projects totaling $27.7 million across Michigan.

The trust fund is a restricted fund which provides money for public land acquisitions for resource protection and outdoor recreation and public outdoor recreation development projects. The grants are funded through interest earned on proceeds derived from the development of publicly owned minerals.

The trust fund board grant recommendations are reviewed by the Michigan Legislature and then sent to the governor for approval.

“Michigan’s communities are home to unique, natural spaces and offer great potential for quality outdoor recreation opportunities – both of which play a big role in regional placemaking for our state,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh in a news release.

“Communities that actively engage in placemaking have strong recreation plans as part of their long-term planning processes, making it easier for them to compete for and leverage these important trust fund dollars. In addition, these recommendations illustrate a strategic investment in trails, furthering Michigan’s reputation as the Trail State.”

Also in Marquette County, Republic Township received a recommendation for $172,200 for Munson Park improvements, including development of a campground along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.

The grant would fund construction of paved recreational vehicle sites with water and electric, rustic tent campsites, accessible restrooms, access paths, parking and necessary site amenities at Munson Park along the Michigamme River and day use picnic sites along School Lake.

Additional U.P. trust fund project recommendations include:

– Alger County: City of Munising, Munising Bay Mountain Bike Trailhead, $194,100. Munising Tourist Park Campground Improvement, $200,000.

– Gogebic County: City of Bessemer, Bluff Valley Park, $45,000; City of Wakefield, Eddy Park Improvements, $112,500.

– Menominee County: Stoney Point Rehabilitation, $18,700.

The additional U.P. land acquisition grant recommendations include:

– Baraga County: Village of Baraga, Lake Superior Shoreline, $185,000.

– Chippewa County: DNR, Lime Island Recreation Area-Karen’s Cabins, $180,000.

– Schoolcraft County: City of Manistique, Manistique River Waterfront North Lot, $26,400; City of Manistique, Manistique River Waterfront Lot US-2, $125,000; City of Manistique, Manistique River Waterfront Elk Street, $102,300.

Over the past 37 years, the trust fund has granted nearly $1 billion to state and local units of government to develop and improve recreation opportunities in Michigan.

For more details on the projects, and a complete list, visit:

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.