You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

$3.5M in state grant funding coming to Washtenaw County for parks and recreation projects

By Ryan J. Stanton

Washtenaw County came out a big winner on Wednesday as state officials announced nearly $3.5 million in grant funding for five local projects.

Nearly $40 million in grant awards from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund were announced statewide, and 8.7 percent of the money went to Washtenaw County, providing funding for major projects in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

In all, nearly 100 projects statewide are receiving funding.

Bob Tetens, the county's director of parks and recreation, offered an overview of the five local grant awards during Wednesday's county board meeting.

  • $300,000 for barrier-free access to Ann Arbor's Gallup Park Canoe Livery on the Huron River, along with energy improvements, barrier-free docks for boating and fishing, patio area, and building and trail improvements.
  • $2.28 million for the county's Arbor Vistas Preserve project for acquisition of 54.17 acres of urban nature area that will connect two nature preserves.
  • $300,000 for the Rutherford Pool renovation project in Ypsilanti.
  • $300,000 for the Ann Arbor Skatepark project at Veterans Memorial Park in Ann Arbor.
  • $289,400 for the Ypsilanti Heritage Bridge project for a pedestrian bridge and fishing pier over the Huron River under Michigan Avenue.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


hut hut

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.



Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

The funding comes from the DNR so it has to be used for park/nature projects not roads. Also it can't be siphoned off for the arts. The problem with adding new sites is now we have to maintain them which no one bothered to consider. Most of the parks that charge for use operate in the red. How are these additional ones going to produce revenue when the existing can't? Especially now that patrons have the opportunity to use the new pool instead of an existing one? I hope they do a better job then they did with revamping the park next to my house. It needed work and when they re-designed they layout they split the play equipment so it is now divided by woods with two pathways through it. That makes no sense for a parent who has young children. The sandbox and swings on one side, the play structure and basketball court on the other. And adding a sandbox is unsanitary. There are a lot of outdoor cats in the neighborhood leaving presents all over. I'm sure they will appreciate the sandbox. I am happy about resurfacing the court and putting up a new hoop. The older kids use it often.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

Did you even read the articles? Rutherford Pool. They are raising money to run it through a Friends program on an ongoing basis. A2 Skatepark. They are raising money to create an endowment to maintain it. Gallup Park: It's part of an existing park that they are refreshing. Existing parks are maintained by voter-approved parks and rec millage. B2B Bridge: It's an addition to a long-standing county priority to build a B2B trail. The B2B trail is built and maintained by the county Parks & Rec dept., funded by voter-approved millage. I have no idea why your rant about your neighborhood park has anything to do with this article.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

This won't be popular, but I would rather see the money spent on crumbling roads, bridges, etc. We have plenty of places for recreation now in the county but the important underpinning of the county are deteriorating. I'm sure people will say "but the money couldn't be used for that!" Well, let's consider making that change too.


Fri, Dec 9, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Roads vs Parks? As I hear it so many times? Lets just pave paradise and put up a parking lot. I was hoping some of this money would be used for a new Rec center I am hearing two boards fighting over.

Ron Granger

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

Maybe not a priority for you, but some of us put parks and quality of life ahead of more billions for cars. Michigan has *always* had lousy roads. It always will. I can remember the first time I drove in Colorado. It was around 1989. The roads were *amazing*. Whatever the reason, it is apparent we will never have that here. And I don't think it's because we spend too much on parks and art.


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

Enough to keep up with the population and number of vehicles on the roads. Lousy roads cost people money directly for repairs and accidents. We still have closed bridges in Washtenaw County that can't be reopened because they are waiting to be fixed. More recreation is like more artwork for Ann Arbor; nice but not high priority.

John Q

Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 6:37 p.m.

It's always more money for roads. How many billions of dollars a year do we have to pour into roads?


Thu, Dec 8, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

This is wonderful news. And I think the long-standing tie between the development of State-owned mineral resources and the development of recreation opportunities in the state is an excellent trade-off. From the Michigan DNRTF website: "The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has been in place since 1976. It provides financial assistance to local governments and the Department of Natural Resources(DNR) to purchase land or rights in land for public recreation or protection of land because of its environmental importance or its scenic beauty. It also assists in the appropriate development of land for public outdoor recreation. The MNRTF is supported by annual revenues from the development of State-owned mineral resources, largely oil and gas."