Village successful again in seeking Recreation Passport dollars from state


Signage at Capac’s Whistle Stop Park acknowledges grant funding from multiple sources used to develop the space, including Recreation Passport dollars from the state, now awarded twice to Capac.

CAPAC — The village is once again a recipient of a Recreation Passport Grant. Earlier this month, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced nearly $2 million for 16 communities in the latest round of awards.

The village applied for and received $45,000 and has pledged to commit $15,000 of their own funds for a total of $60,000. The dollars have been allocated to the village’s Whistle Stop Park, located at the end of E. Aldrich Street near the Capac Museum.

“The Recreation Passport grant program started 11 years ago with the goal of boosting visitation and funding for Michigan state parks and creating more funding for local, community parks and trails enhancement throughout the state,” state officials said in announcing the grant award.

Funds for the grant program are generated through the state’s Recreation Passport fee that permits purchasers admission to state parks and recreation areas.

As part of their application, the village has said they would use the grant dollars to construct a pickleball court, purchase picnic tables, complete more landscaping and install a sidewalk to access the pickleball court. The village contracted the services of Spicer to complete and submit their grant application. The village will use their share of the local allocation they receive through the St. Clair County Parks and Recreation millage.

Recently, Imlay Township used Passport Grant dollars to create a pickleball court at their park. The courts are similar to those used for tennis, but smaller. The game of pickleball incorporates elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis.

In 2016, Capac received the same amount from the same state grant program to begin developing Whistle Stop Park. Those dollars then were used to install playground equipment and benches and create basketball and sand volleyball courts. Since then, a gazebo has also been added to the grounds.

The village also received grant funding from the Community Foundation of St. Clair County and St. Clair County Parks and Recreation Department in 2019 that was allocated toward the basketball/multi-purpose court.