Placemaking success in Mount Clemens as Clinton River project reaches crowdfunding goal

Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign and a corresponding $50,000 grant from state agencies, the Clinton River Watershed Council now has the funds to build a universally accessible canoe and kayak launch at MacArthur Park, as well as some improvements to the park itself.

In total, MacArthur Park: Clinton River Project is set to receive $110,760 to complete construction. The project was first announced at the end of November 2016, a result of being named as part of the state's ongoing Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative. Because the project successfully raised $60,000 by Jan. 28, 2017, state agencies Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority have contributed a $50,000 grant toward its completion.

In addition to the canoe and kayak launch, also planned are universally accessible restrooms and a universally accessible picnic table with a charging station. Other enhancements include kayak storage and lockers, enhanced pedestrian connections to the existing boardwalk, way finding and interpretive signage, local art murals, and improved parking facilities. Expect improvements by this spring and summer.

"Adding a universally accessible kayak launch at MacArthur Park will allow users of all abilities the opportunity to experience all that Mt. Clemens and the Clinton River have to offer," Mt. Clemens Mayor Barbara Dempsey said in a statement originally released at the announcement of the project. "The Clinton River is one of the unique environmental and recreational assets of the region and Mount Clemens, and we look forward to finding more ways to utilize this asset as an economic development tool while continuing to protect its natural beauty."

The importance of protecting the Clinton River has been especially relevant lately, the result of a sinkhole and collapsed sewer line in the nearby city of Fraser.

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