In 2019, the trust fund provided $1.28 million to projects along the Huron River Water Trail.

A colorful autumn sunrise is reflected in the Huron River in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sunrise over the Huron River, Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Huron River Water Trail has benefitted significantly from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund over many years. Photo: Daniel Brown

Proposal 1 is on the November 3rd Michigan general election ballot. The proposal would make it easier for the state to use the Natural Resources Trust Fund to protect wildlife, protect drinking water, and improve opportunities for outdoor recreation. It would make spending of environmental funding more flexible and would not increase taxes. HRWC is encouraging all Michiganders to vote “Yes” on Proposal 1 November 3rd.

The program has benefitted every corner of Michigan.

Since 1976, the Natural Resources Trust Fund has funded land conservation and public recreation across Michigan. Most importantly, it provides significant funding where other funding sources do not. It funds projects that are often prohibitively expensive and particularly difficult for communities to complete themselves. Every county in Michigan has benefitted from the program, and some of Michigan’s most iconic and sacred places are the result of funds awarded.

The MNRTF has made the Huron River a better place for recreation.

In 2019 alone, the Huron River was awarded several grants totaling $1.28 million from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. These projects will build and improve infrastructure along the Huron River Water Trail. The projects are: 1) a universal access launch and comprehensive redesign of the livery area at Argo Park in Ann Arbor;  2) improvements of the Rapids View launch area of Hudson-Mills Metropark; 3) improvements to Loonfeather Point Park on Ford Lake, 4) improvements and universal access at the West Boat Launch of Kensington Metropark, and 5) Improvements to the Flat Rock Boat Launch and a Universal Access Launch. HRWC supported each project’s application, and in a few cases helped plan designs and renovations. These projects will make our home river safer, will reduce environmental damage, and will improve recreational access. These projects and many more over several years have built the Huron River Water Trail into what it is today. Much of the progress made to revitalize the Huron River would not have been possible without the support of the Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The investment has more than paid for itself. More than 125,000 unique visitors enjoy the Huron River in a given year. The economic activity the river corridor creates is roughly equivalent to a Big Ten home football season. This year, as we’ve all sought outdoor refuge from the pandemic, recreational use of the Huron River has increased by 50 to 300%. Water Trail infrastructure was able to bear the surge in visitation because of the improvements made in prior years.

Get the full text of proposal 1 and learn why HRWC continues to support it.

To pledge your support for Michigan’s Proposal 1, or to learn more about how you can support the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, please visit