By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – Officials here are seeking a state grant of up to $300,000 for boating and fishing improvements at Camp Dearborn.
Recreation Commission members on Tuesday approved the application for Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant following a public hearing at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
The purpose of the grants, established in 1976 and administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is to assist local governments in purchasing land or parks in order to preserve them or to develop land for recreation.
Dearborn’s grant would be used to construct a path connecting Milford Trail on General Motors Road to the camp. It also would cover costs for a launching area for canoes and kayaks, as well as a platform for fishing on the Huron River shoreline.
Recreation Director Gregory Orner said the anticipated cost of the entire project is $281,000. About half of that would be used to construct a bridge that will allow for crossing the river.
The application also must be approved by the City Council, along with $114,000 in matching city funds, before being submitted to Lansing. Deadline for submission is April 1; MDNR officials will make a decision by December.
Connecting the trail to the road would deter people from using motor vehicles in the park, Orner said.
“We think that if we can connect to that trail system that it will be kind of a hub for our campers that can bring their bicycles and have easy access,” he said, “as opposed to trying to access the trail through General Motors Road.”
Deputy Director of Recreation Eric Petersen said the MDNR looks for specific criteria when determining the recipients of the funds.
“They’re looking for river access, increased tourism, fishing opportunities, kayaking, what have you” he said.
“That’s why we have a proposed kayak launch.”.
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected])