Opportunity of the Decade // Michigan Spark Grants

October 20, 2022

A new grant program will launch next week on October 24th — aimed at helping improve and redevelop existing public outdoor spaces and recreation in communities that have historically experienced barriers to accessing these types of grants. The Michigan Spark Grants program projects will provide safe, accessible public recreation facilities and spaces to improve people’s health, introduce new recreation experiences, build on existing park infrastructure and make it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors.

Opportunity Of The Decade & You’re Eligible To Apply!

Applicants must be legally constituted to provide public recreation and can include organizations working in conservation, trails, and parks can submit an application — as long as the proposed project is public (federal, state, or local government).

“United by the belief that all Michiganders deserve quality outdoor recreation experiences close to home, the Michigan Spark Grants advisory team worked together to build an opportunity that maximizes resources, provides support and removes barriers to access,” stated Andrea LaFontaine, Executive Director of the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance, who also serves on the Michigan Spark Grants advisory team.

The $65 million Spark Grant program will help local communities that want to create, renovate or redevelop public outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors—especially those whose economic opportunities and health were hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds for the program were allocated from the Building Michigan Together Plan, signed in March 2022, which included a historic infusion of federal funding in our state and local parks. 

How We Got Here & MTGA’s Involvement

July 2021 – Governor Whitmer announced a proposed investment of $150 million from the American Rescue Plan to improve and enhance Michigan’s trails and parks.

March 2022 – The Michigan Legislature approves, and Governor Whitmer signs the Building Michigan Together Plan
June through August 2022 – MTGA and partners form the Spark Advisory Committee and meet five separate times to formulate the goals of the Spark Grants program.  

Interested in learning more? The Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance is here to help answer your questions. Email us to schedule an in-person or zoom chat.

Get Ready!
Verify your SIGMA number – verify your ID number, if you don’t have a number, fill out an application here.
Get your federal UEI -Each applicant needs a unique entity identifier, or UEI, from the federal System for Award Management (SAM).
Register with MiGrants – Once you confirm that your organization is registered in MiGrants, you can enter your SIGMA and UEI numbers into the system.
Spark Grants Schedule

Individual grant amounts range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $1 million and are scheduled to be distributed in three rounds:

Round one: up to $15 million during the week of Jan. 30, 2023.
Round two: up to $25 million in spring 2023
Round three: up to $25 million in summer 2023.

Oct 24, 2022 | Application period starts in MiGrants.
Dec 19, 2022 | Round one applications due.
Jan 2023 | Round one grant awarded.
TBD 2023 | Rounds two and three will open and be awarded.
Dec 31, 2024 | All awarded grant funds must be committed to third-party contracts.
Oct 31, 2026 | All grant-funded projects must be completed. 

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