MONROE — State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) is pleased to announce that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) awarded nearly $5 million to The River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe County. The money will be used to acquire land to expand the site and improve access for visitors.

“I’m extremely proud that the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has selected The River Raisin National Battlefield Park to receive funding in order to expand and improve the site and better serve the public who come to visit this historic location,” LaVoy said. “This is the perfect use of state funds — preserving land so that it can be used and enjoyed by Michigan residents for years to come.”

The park commemorates the Battle of Frenchtown, which took place near present-day Monroe during the War of 1812. Last year, LaVoy sponsored a resolution, which the House adopted, honoring the bicentennial of the battle.

“I would like to thank the members of the Trust Fund Board for selecting the site, and two fellow legislators: U.S. Congressman John Dingell, who helped move legislation designating the battlefield as a national park in 2010 and state Senator Randy Richardville, who has been instrumental in processes that allow the funding to come here,” LaVoy said.

The MNRTF began as the Michigan Land Trust Fund in 1976, a program to provide a source of funding for the public acquisition of lands for resource protection and public outdoor recreation. Funding is derived from royalties on the sale and lease of state-owned mineral rights, including oil, gas and other mineral lease and royalty payments, with proceeds used to both acquire and develop public recreation lands.