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      Michigan DNR awards grants for park, recreation

      The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants to communities around the state to improve parks and recreation facilities.

      Ten community parks will share $695,500 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is supported by federal revenues from offshore gas and oil development. Three of the recipients are in Marquette County. The others are in Bay, Berrien, Benzie, Gogebic and Genesee counties.

      An additional 19 communities are splitting $761,600 from a fund derived from sale of "recreation passports," which allow entry to state parks.

      The grants will pay for projects such as playground development and renovations, picnic areas and pavilions, replacement of bathroom facilities and improved access for those with disabilities.