Four northwest Michigan towns get microgrants for placemaking

Placemaking can cover a variety of initiatives and strategies, from the super-scaled to the very small. Some of those on the latter end of the spectrum are receiving micro-grants from the Northwest Michigan Council of Goverments locally.

Four placemaking projects are getting grants of $1,500 each in Boyne City, Petoskey, Manistee and Lake City. The grants, available in a competitive format to municipalities and governments in Charlevoix, Emmet, Manistee and Missaukee counties, are specifically to help achieve placemaking goals.

"The goal for these placemaking micro-grants is to assist local efforts to enhance their communities' public spaces and to begin to implement them," says Matt McCauley, NWMCOG director of regional planning and community development. "Often it is the small ideas that grow from the community that create interesting usable public places."

Boyne City will use its grant to install bicycle racks that also serve as public art in eight locations in the city's downtown, helping it be more bicycle-friendly and enhance the downtown.

In Petoskey, the money will help wayfinding efforts in the Bear River Valley Recreation Area, including mapping, brochures, kiosk construction, signage, and a cell phone interpretive tour.

The City of Manistee Downtown Development Association will use its grant on a signage and wayfinding project for the U.S. 31 and River Street intersection, which is designed to help U.S. 31 motorists navigate Manistee's historic commercial district.

In Lake City, the grant was also to the downtown development association, which will put it toward wayfinding for the new, permanent city dock. New signs will help dock users connect to the downtown district and associated businesses.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Matt McCauley, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
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