City of Douglas sets $25K crowdfunding goal for park project

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The campaign aims to pay for construction of a new play space at Schultz Park. Rendering courtesy Michigan Economic Development Corporation

The city of Douglas launched a Patronicity crowdfunding campaign to raise $25,000 to renovate a pair of city parks.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the city of Douglas said the Patronicity campaign launched Monday has a goal to raise $25,000 by June 30 for the Douglas Park Project, and if it meets the goal, the project will win a matching grant with funds from the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the project raised $928.

“Activating underused spaces and creating more vibrant and inclusive public places is what our program is all about,” said Michele Wildman senior vice president of community development for the MEDC. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Douglas Park Project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign aims to pay for a refresh of Beery Field’s playscapes and construction of a new play space at Schultz Park. The two parks are highly visible and are the main sources of recreation for the surrounding areas but need renovations to create inclusive and creative spaces for everyone. The project will create safe spaces for young children and creative play spaces for older children at Beery Field and will complete safe and accessible pour and play surfacing, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant structures, sensory play and an adult fitness area at Schultz Park.

The campaign aims to pay for a refresh of Beery Field’s playscapes. Rendering courtesy Michigan Economic Development Corporation

“The Douglas Park Project is excited to kick off the Public Spaces Community Places program with the MEDC,” said Anna Gregg, committee chair of the Douglas Park Project. “This grant opportunity will allow us to complete a revitalization at Beery Field and work toward our renovation goal at Schultz Park this summer. Our goal of providing this great community a creative space for children of all ages and abilities to enjoy is becoming a reality.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply here.

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of MML. “That’s what the proposed improvements at Beery Fields and Schultz Park would do — make existing spaces better for all. That is what community wealth building is all about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of April 28, MEDC has provided more than $8.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 267 projects have been successful in reaching their goal with $9.8 million raised from 47,364 individual donors.

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