105th District Michigan State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) recently joined his House colleagues in voting for legislation to develop access to natural resources and purchase land.
Natural Resources Trust Fund projects and purchases in Otsego, Charlevoix, Antrim, Montmorency and Oscoda counties total more than $9.9 million.
If approved, some of the money would go to the Boyne Valley Trailway and Boyne’s waterfront Open Space park.
Cole of Mancelona, said he is looking forward to the expanded recreational opportunities approved by the House, which include:
• Boyne Valley Trailway development – Phase 1. This $1.02 million project develops 3.6 miles of the 6.1 mile paved Boyne Valley Trailway connecting Boyne City to the village of Boyne Falls.
This trailway will extend and enhance the Regional Trail System by connection to the Boyne City to Charlevoix Trail and the Little Traverse Wheelway.
Phase I of the Trailway project connects to Boyne City streets with a trailhead at the Boyne City Airport with existing paved parking and modern bathroom facilities.
• Acquisition of approximately one acre with road frontage to provide access to village-owned land on the Boyne River.
This $70,400 acquisition provides the only access point to view the falls in Boyne Falls and the only connection to property owned by the village of Boyne Falls on the Boyne River.
• Acquisition of approximately 4.6 acres with 600 feet of shoreline on Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City.
The site will be used as an open space park available for general public use and enhance the economic development opportunity for adjacent properties including the public boat launch, commercial and residential properties in the immediate area. Cost for the project is $3.2 million.
• A $2.74 million acquisition of a 389-acre former camp property in Antrim County’s Milton Township for a new public recreation area.
The property includes all of 60-acre Maplehurst Lake, stands of northern hardwood forest and open meadows.
The property is well-suited for hiking and cross country ski trails, fishing, wildlife viewing and boating.
• Development to improve river access at Briley Township Park in Montmorency County.
The six-acre park features nearly 1,800 feet of river frontage on the Thunder Bay River and is a popular destination for fishing, events, and festivals.
Improvements will feature low-impact development concepts to minimize negative impacts on the river.
The $255,800 project will renovate a building for restrooms, and feature a new fishing pier and shoreline fishing, a kayak/canoe launch and new walkways within the community park.
• Development of four outdoor tennis courts at the Otsego County Sportsplex to allow for the growth of tennis programs in Otsego County.
The Sportsplex currently includes a hockey rink, Olympic-sized pool and meeting space for local school and community activities. The project will cost $300,000.
• A $2.32 million project to develop an 11-mile multi-purpose pathway from Waters northerly to Wisconsin Avenue in Gaylord.
The entire trail, which runs parallel to the rail corridor, is currently used as a regional snowmobile trail and is part of Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail.
“Northern Michigan is a treasure trove of amazing natural resources, and these projects will add to the opportunities families and outdoor enthusiasts have available,” Cole said. “The added tourist trade coming north to enjoy our vibrant outdoors will also help local economies grow.”
The funding is comprised of revenue from the lease of state land and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments for the projects.
The bill now goes to the governor for consideration.