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Natural Resources Trust Fund

Screenshot of trust fund video with MNRTF sign at a park

Natural Resources Trust Fund

Program objective

Projects provide for natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. By law, no less than 25 percent of the trust fund amount available for annual appropriation can be used for acquisition of public land and no less than 25 percent of the trust fund can be used for development of public recreation facilities. Final grant recommendations are made by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board to the state legislature for final approval.


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, such as trails, regional significance, public access to lakes and rivers, wildlife habitat and hunting access.


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 MiGrants.
  2. Evaluation by department staff.
  3. Recommendation by the trust fund board.
  4. Passage of an appropriations bill by the legislature and signature by the governor.


Local community recreation plans must be uploaded to the MiGrants website by Feb. 1 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 trust fund board 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 $400,000. 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.


Contact Jon Mayes, program manager, at 517-284-5954 or, 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.