Muskegon Heights park could be anchor for community with prosperity grant

Rowan Park has the potential to be an anchor in the community, though it has been underserved. A $250,000 Consumers Energy Foundation Prosperity Award will help the park reach its potential.

The park is one component to building economic prosperity in Muskegon Heights.

“There’s so much more that’s underway in Muskegon Heights to bring it back to where people are enjoying working, living, and playing in the area,” says Greater Muskegon Economic Development President and CEO Marla Schneider. “This will be an anchor program. We’ll start to see businesses open and thrive and people start to use the area more.”

The "Reaching NEW Muskegon Heights" project will include a splash pad, restrooms, fountain, and a promenade.

"We are excited to partner with the Consumers Energy Foundation and Great Muskegon Economic development to fund improvements to Rowan Park. These improvements will complement the drum major sculpture, 'Band Together,' currently being planned for the park," says Muskegon Heights Mayor Walter Watt. "These improvements are one of the first results of the recently approved Reaching NEW Muskegon Heights Vision Plan, a community-developed plan, for downtown Muskegon Heights."

Oxford in metro Detroit also received a Prosperity Award grant for a community transformation project.

"These communities are committed to reinventing themselves and have developed plans to grow and prosper. The Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to give them the support they need with these Prosperity Awards," says Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. "These awards are designed to strengthen neighborhoods across the state and highlight our own commitment to Michigan's businesses and communities."

The Prosperity Awards are the second of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. Planet Awards winners were announced in April, and People Awards will be announced later this year. Last year's Prosperity Awards funded a renovation of Flint's Masonic Temple and a community rehabilitation plan in Cadillac.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider.