protectMI is an education campaign championed by MTGA, Heart of the Lakes, mParks, with help from a coalition of nonprofits and outdoor businesses that share an affinity for our outdoor spaces and advocate to protect and enjoy them. We celebrate these outdoor spaces by raising awareness of their accessibility and sharing the stories of these projects that were funded through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.
MNRTF projects help create vibrant communities and enhance residents’ quality of life. Trust fund grants have funded the development and expansion of parks and public green space, the creation of trail networks, the protection of our state’s pristine beaches, forests, and wetlands, and the improvement of park and facility accessibility to ensure equal access for all.
In November 2020, Michiganders voted to give the MNRTF board more discretion as long as at least 25 percent apiece is spent on land acquisition and park development, splitting the other 50 percent as they see fit. In addition to changing the trust fund’s formula, the plan puts a mechanism in place to eventually lift the $500 million cap on the fund that was reached in 2011. After the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund reaches an $800 million cap collected from oil and gas revenue, the proposed changes would divert any future revenue back into the trust fund.