Michigan Celebrates Trail Week with a Spotlight on MNRTF

Michigan’s stunning landscapes, rich with over 13,000 miles of state-designated trails, are more than just scenic wonders. They’re lifelines that connect communities, boost our mental and physical health, and contribute significantly to economic growth. This week, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA) is using Michigan Trails Week to draw attention to these paths that play a pivotal role in our lives.

The Role of MNRTF

Our state boasts a whopping 3,000 miles of water trails and 2,600 miles of rail-trails. Ever wondered who’s behind all this? The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has been the driving force, investing an astounding $245 million in trails across all 83 counties.

Iconic Projects and Access for All

Projects like the Iron Belle Trail are shining examples of the MNRTF’s commitment. Spanning from Ironwood to Detroit, it symbolizes a promise of accessibility. Trails aren’t just about physical paths; they’re gateways to Michigan’s cherished places like St. John’s Marsh. Furthermore, they knit communities together, reminding us of our shared spaces and memories.

More Than Just Paths: The Health and Economic Benefits

Ever taken a moment to appreciate how trails contribute to our well-being? They are sanctuaries for those seeking physical and mental solace. Urban trails, such as the Bridge to Bay, serve a dual purpose, acting as healthy transit options. Additionally, these pathways can be economic game changers. Take the Blue Water River Walk for instance – from being a property acquisition project to its transformation into a lively waterfront, complete with trails, docks, parks, and art installations. It’s become a place where people want to reside. Can you feel the allure?

Proposal One: A Step Towards Conservation and Development

This November, MTGA is championing a crucial cause: a vote in favor of Proposal One. It aims to further bolster and update the Trust Fund, ensuring our beloved trails and places continue to flourish.

The 2020 Election Stakes: Why Proposal 1 Matters

The impending 2020 Election is set to witness a surge in mail-in ballots. Among various critical issues, the limelight is on Proposal 1, endorsed by the bi-partisan coalition “Vote Yes for MI Water, Wildlife and Parks”.

A Deeper Dive into Proposal 1

Far beyond the presidential race, Proposal 1 emerges as a beacon for conservationists and recreational enthusiasts. Spearheaded by the Michigan legislature, it seeks to revamp the MNRTF. The goal? To once again channel royalties from the oil and gas sectors into land conservation and public recreation, without pinching taxpayer pockets. With this, not only will the cap on the MNRTF be removed, but there will also be a reshuffling in fund allocation, offering the needed wiggle room to both access and safeguard Michigan’s incredible outdoors.

Join the Vote

“Isn’t it delightful to have a haven outdoors, especially after a summer like this one?” muses Conan Smith of the Michigan Environmental Council. Proposal 1 offers a chance to keep this connection alive and thriving. As the days inch closer, every vote for Proposal 1 is a pledge to the land we hold dear.

A Glimpse into Other Ballot Proposals

Come September 28, Michigan will decide the fate of two transformative statewide proposals. Alongside Proposal 1’s promise to reshape the MNRTF, Proposal 2 seeks to categorize electronic data as personal property. This means law enforcement will need valid warrants to sift through one’s emails or phone records.