MNRTF Grants Shrinking

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) has a bank account that totals about $500 million. It plans to operate like a foundation does from now on. To protect their fund’s corpus, MNRTF plans to use only the earnings on the $500 million to fund future development and acquisition projects. This means annual distributions of no more than 2.5% ($12,500,000) will become the “new normal.” The grant total will be slightly higher than $12.5 million this year, in 2014, and in 2015 as MNRTF uses funds from its $59 million stabilization reserve to supplement investment earnings.

For example, MNRTF recently awarded just over $8.5 million for park development projects. Applicants requested over $22 million. This program is now more competitive than ever.

MNRTF Applications are due April 1, 2014

If you plan to submit a grant application for a park development or land acquisition project this year, you should start now. The application process is very detailed and time-consuming. Contact your Prein&Newhof engineer or P&N grant adviser Jim Hegarty for more details or assistance.

MNRTF tidbits:
  • Applications in 2014 will be submitted via web portal.
  • MNRTF grant workshops are being held around the state in January/February.
  • MNRTF requires a minimum of 25% of awards to be for land acquisition, and a maximum of 25% for development.
  • MNRTF funded all land acquisition grant applications in 2013.
  • Future funding will be very competitive especially for development ($3.5M-$6M/year); 2014 should be closer to $6M.
  • MNRTF applications still have a high likelihood of being funded if the request is for $50k or less.

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