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Dear Friends,

I hope you have had a great summer. Michigan children will be returning to school in a few weeks, yet there is still time to enjoy our state with family and friends.

To better serve you, I am offering this e-newsletter on what’s happening in our community and across our state.

I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may call toll-free at 1-855-347-8028 or email [email protected]. Also, please check out my Facebook page. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Working for you,

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Mark Huizenga
State Senator

Governor signs outdoor recreation funding bill

My legislation to support $84.6 million in park and trail developments and acquisitions across Michigan was signed last month by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

This outdoor recreation funding is an example of the great things that can be done when we work together to build a better Michigan. We are putting constitutionally restricted funding to positive use to improve access to our great outdoors for families to enjoy, encourage active lifestyles, and make our region and state more attractive for talent and jobs.

In West Michigan, local communities will receive over $4 million in trust fund grants to help make over $14.4 million in total improvements to public outdoor spaces that enhance our quality of life.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights.

Senate Bill 1028, now Public Act 151 of 2022, authorizes the NRTF to use $45.6 million in restricted funds to support 22 acquisition projects and 95 development projects. Matching funds of $39 million would bring the total investment to $84.6 million.

Kent County projects include a total of $900,000 in grants toward the $3.96 million development of 4,464 feet of the nonmotorized Rivers Edge Trail from Ann Street to Leonard Street in Grand Rapids with river frontage along the east bank of the Grand River. The three segments include street underpasses, a universally accessible 12-foot wide shared-use trail, river access, LED lighting, seating and signage. Ultimately, the trail will connect downtown Grand Rapids to the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park.

Other grants in the bill for trail projects in Kent and Ottawa counties include:

• $300,000 toward a $1.4 million development of 2.1 miles of the River Valley Rail-Trail through the city of Lowell, including a pedestrian bridge across the Grand River. This trail is part of the 125-mile Fred Meijer Mid-West Regional Trail network.
• $300,000 toward a $1.5 million project to construct an Iron Belle-North Country Trail connector at Luton Park in Cannon Township along with a trail map, bike fix station, benches, rain garden and bike racks.
• $300,000 toward a $3.5 million development of a 2.3-mile segment of the Idema Explorers Trail that will provide the final nonmotorized connection between the existing trail and Grand Haven — completing a 13-mile path from the Grand Haven Pier to Riverside Park.

SB 1028 also features NRTF grants for five park improvements in Kent and Ottawa counties, including:

• $214,100 for the $428,200 development of East Paris Park in Kentwood to renovate the existing bituminous trails, which will be replaced with an 8-foot-wide limestone path to provide an accessible surface that can easily be repaired when roots appear. The project also provides a trail map kiosk, LED lighting, benches, bike racks, grills, picnic tables, serving tables, and a reading trail.
• $231,300 toward $462,600 of improvements to the Buck Creek Trailhead at Mill Race Park in Grandville, including adding a pavilion, interpretive signage, “naturescape” playground, a trail loop with a bridge over Buck Creek, native plantings, and parking.
• $300,000 toward a $604,600 development of the Grand Rogue Park in Plainfield Charter Township at the confluence of the Rogue and Grand rivers. The project will add the first water access at the site via a dock, kayak launch, and observation deck. It also includes a pavilion, a road and parking lot, and improvements to the existing play equipment, benches, picnic tables, grills, bike racks, and signage.
• $237,000 toward a $474,000 project to renovate the restroom facility at Ottawa County’s Kirk Park and install a new accessible playground and trailhead amenities for three key regional trails.
• $152,600 toward a $305,200 development of the newly established 10.4-acre Buttermilk Creek Park natural area in Hudsonville to provide a public restroom building, rain garden, and parking lot. These amenities will serve both the park and the Buttermilk Trail, which is the public pathway system the city has been constructing over the past 10 years to enhance walkability and connectivity within the city and surrounding townships.

Kent County has two land acquisition projects included in the bill, including:

• $1.12 million toward the $1.6 million purchase of 106 acres adjacent to Townsend Park, bringing it to regional park status with a proposed total of 250 acres. The property would add bird watching opportunities and access to Bear Creek for fishing. The conceptual planning envisions three miles of trails, connection to the existing park, parking for the trail system, and a pavilion featuring unobstructed views of the landscape.
• $44,800 toward the $89,600 acquisition of 0.77 of an acre in the Plaza Roosevelt area of Grand Rapids for the purpose of developing a public park to serve nearby residents and children attending a school immediately adjacent to the new park.

District office hours

I am holding in-person office hours throughout the district on a regular basis because hearing directly from the people about the issues they are facing is an important part of representing everyone in West Michigan. These meetings give local residents a chance to express their viewpoints about what needs to be done and offer help to people dealing with a variety of state issues.

We are holding office hours this month in Grand Rapids, Rockford and Plainfield. Here are the upcoming dates, times and locations for our district office hours:

• Friday, Aug. 19 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at New Beginnings, 4735 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids.
• Saturday, Aug. 20 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Herman’s Boy, 220 Northland Drive NE in Rockford.
• Thursday, Aug. 25 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Drive NE in Plainfield.

Office hours are open to all residents, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone who is unable to attend the June 25 office hour may contact my office.

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Watch out for new text message phishing scam

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning of a new text message phishing scam targeting Michigan residents who may have filed for unemployment insurance during the pandemic.

If you have filed for unemployment benefits and receive a text message claiming to be from the UIA, ignore it — it’s a scam. The UIA does not use text messaging to correspond with claimants or to process payments. The UIA communicates with claimants through their Michigan Web Account Manager account, letters mailed to the current address on file or by phone.

The agency’s anti-fraud investigators have learned of a recent phishing scheme to try to steal money and personal information from Michigan workers. The text message comes from an out-of-state phone number and provides a link to claim back payments. Do not click on the link. Report it as junk or spam and delete the text.

The suspicious text message is from a phone number with a 210 area code, which is in Texas. The message reads in part: “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Your back payment deposit of $2,800 is now pending on your profile.” It then instructs the recipient to click on a strange link to receive payment. The link is to a fake, replica UIA website.

This is an example of a government imposter scam. More information on these types of scams can be found on the Attorney General’s Consumer Alerts page.

Below are more tips from the UIA that can be helpful with protecting your personal information:

• Scrutinize the webpage URL or link that you receive. If it is not an official website, do not use it.
If you do not trust a website or information, call UIA’s Customer Service at 1-866-500-0017 to verify what you are seeing.
• You should only link to UIA information or services through
• The UIA will never ask a claimant to send information to our personal emails.
• The UIA will never ask a claimant to text information back.
• Keep your MiLOGIN and MiWAM information secure, do not provide it to anyone.
• If someone calls and you are suspicious about the intent, hang up and call UIA at 1-866-500-0017 and request staff to send information to you through your MiWAM account.
• If a caller provides information that sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Hang up.
• Make sure your contact information is current should UIA staff need to reach you.

If you suspect fraud or identity theft, report it by clicking on the Report Fraud and Identity Theft link at and fill out a referral form. Be sure to fill out all the information and make sure it is current. You can also view this video from the UIA that explains how to report identity theft.

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August is National Golf Month

There is no better way to celebrate national golf month than to hit the links on one of Michigan’s more than 650 public courses. Michigan golf courses cover 127,5000 acres of professionally managed greenspace, including 28,000 acres of forest and wetlands that provide wildlife habitats.

With an economic impact of $4.2 billion, the golf industry in Michigan employs 60,000 people, paying more than $1.4 billion in wages. Visit to find a course near you.

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Food pantry grant opportunity

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Blue Cross Complete are offering a unique grant opportunity for Michigan food pantries. This grant opportunity will improve the ability of local food pantries to provide nutrient-rich fresh food options that require refrigeration, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

The program includes two grant categories:

• Food Pantry Infrastructure Grant: Food pantries may apply for up to $2,500 in funds to improve pantry infrastructure in support of the distribution of dairy foods and fresh produce. Examples of infrastructure requests to support dairy include coolers, transportation and maintenance of refrigeration equipment, among other things.
• Dairy Foods Grant: Food pantries are also eligible to apply for up to $500 in dairy match funding. If a food pantry purchases dairy foods from their food bank or a local retailer, they can receive matching funds to purchase additional dairy foods. Eligible dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese.

Grant applications for the 2022 calendar year are due Sept. 30. Applications may be submitted online. Visit the Food Pantry Grant Program webpage for more information.

Reserved waterfowl hunt applications available

Applications for 2022 reserved waterfowl hunts are available now through Aug. 28. Applications are $5, and hunters may only apply once. Apply online or anywhere DNR licenses are sold. Drawing results will be posted on Sept. 19. Reserved hunts will be held at various times and locations across three weekends in October: Oct. 8-9, Oct. 15-16, and Oct. 22-23.

For more information about waterfowl hunting and the reserved waterfowl hunts, visit or check out the 2022 Waterfowl Digest.

Free ORV Weekend is Aug. 20-21

Off-road enthusiasts can take advantage of the second Free ORV Weekend of the year on Aug. 20-21. Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors can ride DNR-designated routes and trails, including the state’s six scramble areas, without an ORV license or trail permit. All other ORV rules and laws still apply and the Recreation Passport is required where applicable.

Michigan’s large public ORV trail system covers 4,000 miles of trails and routes through the state. For more information, including ORV trail maps and a link to the Michigan ORV Handbook, visit

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Serving the people of West Michigan is very important to me and I encourage you to contact me with any state issues. You may contact me by calling toll-free 1-855-347-8028 or emailing [email protected] .

I look forward to serving you, and I encourage you to contact me if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Senator Mark Huizenga
201 Townsend St., Suite #7200
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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