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The Nature Conservancy, Land Conservancy of West Michigan highlight projects funded through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

MNRTF Board members toured West Michigan sites, saw how grant money has been used to improve natural areas across West Michigan

A sign for Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area stands in a grassy, sandy area.
West Michigan Tour MNRTF Board members toured the Historic Ottawa Beach Parks, Kollen Park and Heinz Waterfront Walkway, Point Pleasant Marina, and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area. © Kate Meyer/TNC

On Tuesday, June 14, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Land Conservancy of West Michigan hosted Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board members for a tour of several conservation projects across West Michigan. The tour was held the day before the MNRTF regular board meeting in Holland.

“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has awarded more than $1 billion to communities across Michigan to acquire land, improve public outdoor recreation and strengthen the local economies in every one of Michigan’s 83 counties,” said Helen Taylor, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “The MNRTF has made an indelible impact on our state’s natural spaces, and we thought there’s no better way to show the lasting impact of those grants than by giving board members an up-close look at several West Michigan gems.”

“We were thrilled to partner with The Nature Conservancy and lead Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board members on a tour of some of the projects near and dear to our hearts,” said Land Conservancy of West Michigan Executive Director Kim Karn. “The sites we toured on Tuesday wouldn’t be where they are today without support from the MNRTF board, the governor and the state Legislature.”

MNRTF Board members toured the Historic Ottawa Beach Parks, Kollen Park and Heinz Waterfront Walkway, Point Pleasant Marina, and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area. In total, these sites received nearly $12 million in grants from the MNRTF over the last 20 years.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board is responsible for submitting a priority list to the Legislature of lands recommended for acquisition and development through the Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant Program. The program supports development and improvement of public outdoor recreation opportunities across the state. The board also provides guidance to Michigan Department of Natural Resources staff who are responsible for evaluating grant applications, making project recommendations and administering projects funded by the grant program.

 

About the Land Conservancy of West Michigan

The mission of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan is to help people protect, enjoy and care for natural lands in West Michigan. We envision a future with abundant natural spaces that have been permanently preserved for generations to come. With the help of individuals, families and community and government organizations, the Land Conservancy protects the coastal dunes, hardwood forests, scenic waterways and diverse geological features that make our region a healthy and desirable place to live. These efforts have resulted in the permanent protection of over 12,000 acres of natural land throughout our eight-county service area, a 45-year legacy our supporters can be proud to claim as their own.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.