Michigan's parks, trails and waterfront have made our environment resilient, our tourism industry vibrant and our means to recreate, relax and find wonder plentiful.
Our natural places would not be as protected, as beloved and as strong as they are today without the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. Since becoming part of the Michigan Constitution by popular vote in 1976, it has turned $1.2 billion in fossil fuel fees and royalties into land acquisition and park and trail expansion.
Proposal 1 would make the Trust Fund stronger, allowing us to continue protecting our land and water while making those places available to ALL. It is why Michigan Environmental Council, 19 MEC member groups and about 40 environmental, community and ecotourism groups have endorsed Prop 1 so far.
What would Prop 1 do?
Vote Yes on Prop 1 for MI Water, Wildlife & Parks, which MEC financially supports, provides an excellent rundown of its effect on the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and, in turn, the health of our people and state. Bullet Three is our favorite.
It keeps conservation a priority — At least 25% of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund's grants goes toward land acquisition, which could become a state or local park, protected waterfront or part of Michigan's trail system. This will not change.
It makes park and trail expansion an equal priority — Before, no more than 25% of the Fund's grants could go toward expanding parks and trails — such as adding bathrooms, pathways or play equipment. If passed, Prop 1 would require at least 25% of grants to go toward making our public places better.
It makes our natural places more accessible for ALL — By means of gatekeeping, disinvestment or outright bigotry, the natural world has often been forcibly kept away from Black, Brown, urban, disabled and low-income communities. Prop 1 would change that by equally prioritizing land acquisition with development and renovation. Local groups submitting grant applications for more urban parks, trails and waterfronts would have as good a shot at receiving funding as groups submitting applications for giant, rural swathes of land. Folks looking to make their bathrooms, trails and other amenities physically accessible would have an equal shot, too. Prop 1 allows us to continue protecting our land and water AND making those places available to all, not a few.
It strengthens our natural places — If passed, grants could be made available for renovations. That could mean a nature trail could be widened and leveled for wheelchair users or a crumbling canoe dock could be recreated. Bad infrastructure is a loss of investment.
It promotes health, tourism and stewardship — The best way to appreciate nature is to become immersed in it. It's also a lot of fun. Prop 1's focus on accessibility and ecosystem protection makes it so people and natural places alike will benefit in tandem.
- It keeps fossil fuel fees going toward environmental stewardship — As we fight for a clean energy future, forcing the fossil fuel companies to pay for their presence is needed.
Want to join the movement?
Make your pledge and learn more about Proposal 1 at Vote Yes on Prop 1 for MI Water, Wildlife & Parks' website.
If you represent an organization, consider endorsing the proposal.
Learn which places were made possible by the Trust Fund through Second Wave Media's Preserving Michigan series.
Or, you can watch Michigan Environmental Council’s webinar with Becca Maher — manager of Vote Yes on Prop 1 for MI Water, Wildlife and Parks — below: