Crowdfunding campaign launched for Rochester park

Lake Norcentra Park, located along the Clinton River Trail on the campus of Rochester College, has received a large share of attention from local officials for much of 2016. Improvements were first announced this past February, and the park has benefited from extensive placemaking programming since, including a public art competition that selected local artist Christine Gibson's submission for a 1,600 sq. ft. mural along the trail.

Now the 14-acre park and the nearby 46-acre College Woods are the subject of a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign to further improve the public spaces. Should organizers raise $50,000 by the Oct. 22 deadline, a $50,000 matching grant will be provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Public Spaces Community Places initiative. The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

"Families at the college have known this place for decades and it’s special to a lot of them. Anything worth loving is worth sharing. We think it’s time to open Lake Norcentra Park to our neighbors in the community so it can become special to them as well," Rochester College VP of Development, Finance and Operations Tom Rellinger says in a statement. "We hope the park is a great asset to active lifestyles, education, and preserving nature in the Rochester region for decades to come."

Planned improvements include concessions, a picnic garden, public art installations, benches, hammocks, green space, bike parking, a bike repair station, interpretive signage, ADA-compliant pedestrian trails, boat access to the Clinton River, fishing access to the Clinton River and Lake Norcentra, a community activity center, art, food, and music programming, and K-12 educational programming.

In total, 60 acres of green space, woodlands, and wetlands will see enhancement and preservation efforts. Lake Norcentra Park is accessible from downtown Rochester via the Clinton River Trail.

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