2013-12-12 / Front Page

Twp. receives $220k from DNR

BY GARY GOULD
810-452-2650 • ggould@mihomepaper.com

DAVISON TWP. — The township was named as a recipient of a portion of a $695,500 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the improvement of parks and recreation facilities.

Davison Township was informed last week it would receive a portion of the grant money — about $220,550 — from the DNR’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

The federal LWCF program, administered in Michigan by the DNR, supports cities, counties and townships in their efforts to provide better public outdoor recreation opportunities for their residents.

Randy Stewart, zoning and building administrator for Davison Township, said the grant will be put toward the township’s Robert Williams Nature Park for improvements to the site.

He said the plan is to build a nature trail through a variety of habitats along the Kearsley Creek, as well as an overlook structure for wildlife viewing and outdoor education programs, interpre- tive signs, amenities and parking.

The park site will be used by the community, outdoor clubs and for programming available through a collaborative agreement between the township, city of Davison and Davison Community Schools.

“I think its excellent,” Stewart said, regarding the grant.

The DNR praised Davison Township and the other nine communities who were recipients of the grant money.

"The DNR is proud to partner with these communities by providing grants for these excellent projects," said Steve DeBrabander, DNR Grants Management section supervisor. "Public outdoor recreation promotes healthy lifestyles and helps these communities create a sense of place.”

State Rep. Pam Faris (D-Clio) congratulated Davison Township on earning the DNR grant.

“I was happy to provide testimony to the DNR, explaining that Davison Township is a shining example of how great outdoor recreation facilities can be for a community,” said Faris. “For them to receive such a sizable grant is a testament to their continued pursuit of making their parks a jewel in Genesee County and the state of Michigan.”

The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a federal program administered in Michigan by the Department of Natural Resources on behalf of the National Park Service (NPS).

The DNR uses LWCF funding to help develop public outdoor recreation facilities and to provide matching grants for local governments to do the same. The LWCF is supported by revenues from federal gas and oil development from the outer continental shelf.

Following congressional appropriation, LWCF monies are apportioned to the states by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior each fiscal year in accordance with the apportionment formula contained in the LWCF Act.

“With programs like this in place — from the federal to state level — communities such as Davison Township can more easily promote healthy living and a great atmosphere to live in, and fund the changes necessary to make that a reality,” Faris said.

Work is already underway at the 100- acre Robert Williams Nature Preserve, located just west of M-15 on Atherton Road.

The other nine communities to receive the grant are the cities of Auburn, Ironwood, Manistee, Marquette and Negaunee, the village of Beulah, Portsmouth Charter Township, New Buffalo Township and Sands Township.

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