Thank you for your interest in protecting Northern Michigan’s waters! In accordance with the Burt Lake Watershed Management Plan, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is pleased to announce our Burt Lake Watershed Greenbelt Cost Share Project. This project is a rare opportunity that will allow us to offer financial and technical support to property owners on Burt, Douglas, Crooked, and Pickerel Lakes for voluntary shoreline greenbelt improvement and restoration projects through a grant funded by the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s Nonpoint Source Program by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
- The Watershed Council will reimburse 50% of the cost for the property owner to install a greenbelt, up to a maximum of $2,000. For example, if the greenbelt installation cost was $3,000, we would reimburse the property owner $1,500. If the cost was $4,000 or more, we would reimburse the property owner $2,000.
- Funding is limited, so applications will be ranked higher if:
- The property had a greenbelt score of less than 5 (poor to moderate) in the most recent shoreline survey done by the Watershed Council
- There are greenbelts ranked “good” or “excellent” among your six nearest neighbors
- The property is in a greenbelt restoration priority area (as identified by the Watershed Council).
- The property owner has registered with Michigan Shoreland Stewards at www.mishorelandstewards.org and taken the “Rate Your Shoreland” survey. This step is required for all participants before the greenbelt installation begins, but having it done by the application deadline will ensure a higher ranking.
- A site visit by Watershed Council staff will be used to confirm suitable conditions (not actively eroding, greenbelt score matches current state, etc.).
- If we receive more top-ranked applications than we can fund, cost share funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Only plants native to Michigan may be installed in the greenbelt. Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council or the contractor will provide the property owner a list of native plant species that can be used in the project.
- Completed greenbelts must extend a minimum of 10 feet inland from the ordinary high water mark and at least 50 feet along the shoreline. For small lots, where a length of 50 feet is not practical, greenbelts that extend along at least 75% of the shoreline and at least 10 feet inland may be allowed.
- The property owner should arrange to work with a contractor skilled and experienced in the practice of natural shorelines. If you are selected for funding, the Watershed Council can supply a list of potential contractors. A contractor other than those listed may be chosen, but that contractor must sign an agreement (available from the Watershed Council upon request) to abide by the stipulations of the greenbelt cost share program.
- The property owner will allow Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council and our representatives to access the site before, during, and after installation. The Watershed Council will be allowed to photograph and feature the greenbelt project in our newsletter, website, presentations, and social media. We will omit your name and address upon request.
- The property owner will maintain (water regularly during initial installation period, weed, etc.) the greenbelt as necessary in order to yield the best results into the future.
To receive reimbursement, the property owner must:
- Complete their greenbelt projects before September 1, 2024 to qualify for reimbursement.
- Retain all receipts and invoices associated with the greenbelt installation and, after the greenbelt has been completed, compile copies of all receipts and invoices and submit them to Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council by October 15, 2024 to verify costs and determine the cost share amount.
- The property owner must sign in to their account on the Michigan Shoreland Stewards website (www.mishorelandstewards.org) and retake the “Rate Your Shoreland” survey after the greenbelt installation is completed to document shoreland improvement. This should be completed by October 15, 2024.
- By September 15, 2024, allow Watershed Council staff to conduct a site visit after installation to verify completion