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Campaign seeks to amend state Constitution to change park funding

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A group of hunters, fishers, environmentalists, businesses, and unions are working to get voters to approve an amendment to improve parks.

  

Two funds are used to buy land for parks and capital projects. They get revenue from royalties from gas and oil extraction. But those funds are restricted by law. That hinders some efforts to build local parks.

Conan Smith is with the Michigan Environmental Council.

“It is particularly difficult for the Trust Fund, though, to invest in major projects in urban areas," said Smith. "For example, if we wanted to put a big state park in Flint along the river, it would be very difficult for the trust fund to make that investment under the current formula.”

The constitutional amendment would allow more flexibility and it remove a cap on the amount of how much money is in the fund. The second fund would be changed to allow the state to use some of its money for operations and maintenance instead of just land acquisition and capital improvements.