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State funding sought for Booth Park improvements

By Grace Lovins


With improvements to Booth Park in Birmingham in the works, the city is seeking funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund administered through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) after authorizing the grant application during the Monday, May 6, city commission meeting.


While the grant application was initially authorized during the March 18 city commission meeting as a consent agenda item, it was brought back to the city commission as an agenda item to give the public ample opportunity to provide feedback.


According to Natural Resources Trust Fund website, the program’s objective is to offer funding for projects that provide natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. Applications are evaluated on natural resource access and conservation, proximity to population clusters, the applicant’s committed matching funds, financial need and priority projects of the trust fund board.


Trail improvements for Booth Park are slated as a priority project in the approved parks and recreation bond and are also listed as a priority project of the trust fund board.


A five-year recreation plan approved by the DNR is also required to be eligible for the grant. Birmingham adopted the updated parks and recreation master plan in December, and staff had indicated the master plan satisfies the DNR’s requirement for grant opportunities.


The city is requesting $266,000 from the DNR and is committing to at least a 51 percent match, said parks and recreation manager Carrie Laird, for a Booth Park entry plaza and the trail improvements project. She explained that the amount is based on the cost estimate in the trail improvement concept plan that was approved by the commission in September of last year.


Improvements to the Booth Park entry plaza and trails will incorporated green infrastructure and sustainability features, Laird stated in the meeting packet, as well as gardens, trees, seating and a gathering area, a restroom, trail entry identifiers and connectivity improvements to the rest of the trail system.


Commissioners voted unanimously, 7-0, to adopt a resolution that authorizes staff to move forward with the grant application.

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