State placemaking initiative helps make projects in Rogers City and St. Ignace possible

What’s happening: Two new placemaking projects were announced in northern Michigan recently, the restoration and revitalization of Westminster Park in Rogers City and the construction of a new public gathering space on the grounds of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture in St. Ignace. Each has been entered into the state’s Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative, offering the projects significant crowdfunding and grant opportunities to reach their funding goals.

In Rogers City: Efforts to restore a bandstand-gazebo, first built in 1918, are currently underway in the northern Lower Peninsula town of Rogers City. The bandstand has a long history, and has been moved and restored several times; today it can be found in Westminster Park and is once again in need of restoration. The Rogers City Parks and Recreation Commission is currently involved in a $20,000 crowdfunding campaign to restore the bandstand-gazebo, improve the electrical infrastructure and sidewalks leading to it, and install new programming around it, including a stamped concrete chess board.

Officials have until Tuesday, May 31, to raise the $20,000. Should they prove successful, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will contribute a $20,000 matching grant as part of the Public Spaces Community Places initiative. The campaign, hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, can be viewed online.

A gem for the community: “We are so excited to secure these PSCP grant dollars,” says Rogers City Manager Joe Hefele. “Westminster Park, with the historic gazebo that rests within it, is one of the most unique and tranquil places within Rogers City. This funding will help us realize the full potential of this downtown space, turning into the gem it should be for this community.”

In St. Ignace: Meanwhile, in the Upper Peninsula community of St. Ignace, efforts are underway to build a community cultural pavilion on the grounds of the Museum of Ojibwa Culture there. The pavilion will be used for museum events, Native American teaching programs, and open to the general public when available.

Also part of the Public Spaces Community Places initiative, museum officials and the St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority have until Friday, July 1, to raise $40,000 as part of their own crowdfunding campaign. Should they prove successful, the MEDC will contribute an additional $40,000 matching grant. The campaign is also hosted on the Patronicity platform, available here.

Making it happen: “The Public Spaces Community Places matching grant program makes projects like ours possible,” says St. Ignace DDA Director Scott Marshall. “Small communities have fewer financial resources which makes it very difficult to get projects out of the planning stage and into the development stage. The PSCP Grant Program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation is a valuable resource for our community.”