New playscape planned for Perry park damaged by 2023 tornado

What’s happening: The Shiawassee County community of Perry experienced its fair share of heartbreak last summer when a tornado struck town in August 2023. But now efforts are underway to not only restore the tornado-damaged Veterans Memorial Park but improve it.

What’s planned: The August ‘23 tornado destroyed the pavilion at Veterans Memorial Park, which is currently being rebuilt with insurance funds. Recently, the City of Coldwater has announced plans to install a new playscape at the park while hinting that additional improvements and amenities could follow in future phases. The City is considering two small-scale playscape options, with plans to engage local elementary school-aged children by asking them to vote on which playscape they prefer.

Why it’s important: “Parks are a great way to bring members of a community together,” says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Adding a playscape will create more opportunities for children and families to make memories, and it will positively impact the Perry community for generations to come.”  

How they’re doing it: Coldwater’s playscape project has been accepted into the state’s placemaking initiative Public Spaces Community Places, a joint effort from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity. As part of the initiative, Coldwater has launched a $15,000 crowdfunding campaign on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform. Should they successfully reach their goal by Friday, May 17, the MEDC will contribute a $15,000 matching grant to the project.

Learn more about the city’s park plans on Patronicity.

What they’re saying: “The City of Perry is excited to partner with the MEDC for our park improvement project at Veterans Memorial Park,” says Meggen Galbreath, Treasurer & Park Committee Member. “After the park was severely damaged by a tornado last August, we are looking to not only put the pieces back together but to also add value to our park inventory. With the support of our community and the MEDC, without which this project would not be possible, we are hoping to not only restore but enhance this park.”

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