Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

  • Program Objective:

    The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) projects provide for natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. By law, no more than 25 percent of the Trust Fund revenues available for appropriation each year can be used for development, therefore the majority of funding is allocated for acquisition projects. Final grant recommendations are made by the MNRTF Board to the state legislature for final approval.

    Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board »


    Applications are evaluated on established criteria such as natural resource access and conservation, proximity to population clusters, applicant's committed matching funds, applicant's financial need, and priority projects of the Trust Fund Board (e.g., trails, regional significance, public access to lakes and rivers, wildlife habitat, hunting access). To ensure the program remains true to that core mission, the Trust Fund board recently approved changes to the criteria used to score grant applications. Developed by the Department of Natural Resources, the changes, which are in effect for the 2020 grant cycle can be found here.


    State/local units of government, a limited number of school districts or recreation authorities which are legally constituted to provide recreation. A DNR-approved 5-year recreation plan is required to be eligible. 

    Application Process:

    1. Submittal of grant application in MiRecGrants
    2. Evaluation by Department staff
    3. Recommendation by the MNRTF Board
    4. Passage of an appropriations bill by the legislature and signature by the Governor


    Local community recreation plans must be uploaded to the DNR's MiRecGrants website by February 1st of the year of application. Applications must be uploaded no later than April 1, of the year of application.


    Grant recommendations are made by the MNRTF Board of Trustees in December. Final grant awards are dependent on the appropriation process, but in general are made within 12 to 18 months after the application deadline.

    Dollar Amount Available:

    Development project minimum/maximum grant amount: $15,000 to $300,000. No minimum/maximum limits on land acquisition grants.

    Source of Funds:

    Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.


    Part 19 of P.A. 451 of 1994, as amended.


    Program Manager: Jon Mayes, 517-284-5954, MayesJ@Michigan.gov, or Grants Management Staff

    Funding Available per Fiscal Year: 

    Based on current projections, approximately $15-20 million will be available for grants each year. Available funds are dependent on revenue, investment earnings and interest accruing to the Trust Fund in a particular fiscal year.