Local projects up for state grants

This year’s recommendations from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to the state Legislature include $50,000 for Clarkston Depot Park accessibility improvements and $2.25 million for Independence Township, to acquire 76 acres in two parcels bisected by Clarkston Road.
The Depot Park proposal includes replace and expand the park’s walkway system, new accessibility ramp for the gazebo, and bigger pads for benches near the playground, to improve access for wheelchair users.
The Independence Township project includes frontage along Walters Lake, with plans to develop a beach with swimming, fishing pier, pavilion, walking trail, and athletics courts. A parcel to the east of Clarkston Road is planned for athletic fields, a pavilion, restrooms, and picnic facilities. The two parcels would be connected with a Clarkston Road underpass.
“Depot Park is a favorite community gathering spot, and the plan for the new park in Independence will add much-needed recreation space on the east side of the township,” said state Rep. Andrea Schroeder. “I will be working to make sure these Oakland County projects are included in the final plan expected to be funded in 2020.”
Money in the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from the development of minerals on state land – not general tax money – and is distributed on an annual basis in partnership with local governments. The money must be used for acquisition or recreational development projects, according to the Michigan Constitution.