Zorn applauds nearly $1B parks improvement plan

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday applauded new Senate legislation to invest nearly $1 billion in federal funds to make infrastructure improvements at state and local parks in Michigan.

“The Update MI Parks plan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Michigan for generations to come by making a historic investment in our state and local parks,” said Zorn. R-Ida. “While it was good to see more people visit our parks during the pandemic, the increased visitations brought to light the tremendous need for infrastructure improvements at these facilities.

“This plan uses one-time federal dollars to make necessary updates to our parks and provide more and better outdoor recreation opportunities for Michigan families.”

The $968 million Upgrade MI Parks plan includes Senate Bills 702, 703 and 704.

SB 702 would invest $508 million in federal dollars to fully fund the State Park Endowment Fund to provide a permanent funding source for the operation, maintenance, and capital improvements at Michigan’s state parks.

SB 703 would direct $250 million in federal funds to address the infrastructure backlog at state parks and recreation areas, $30 million for sports-related tourism and recreation in northern Michigan, and $30 million for the Mackinac Island state park fund.

SB 704 would invest $150 million in federal funds in a new Local Park Systems Grant Program to provide resources to local governments for the development or renovation of public recreation facilities and parks.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.