Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Greening Our School’ project

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

$30,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – A charter school in the Heartside District of Grand Rapids will have a natural, outdoor learning and play space through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center today announced. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $30,000 by June 17, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MSHDA and MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Providing a safe, outdoor space for children to learn and play is critical to their physical and mental development,” said MEDC Vice President of Collaborative Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “Creating an engaging outdoor space at GRCDC will have a major impact not only on the students, but members of the community as well, and we are proud to partner in this effort.” 

“A green space for students and the surrounding neighborhood to play, learn and collaborate will open new possibilities for engagement and community growth,” said MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer.

With more than 75 percent of the grounds at the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center currently covered in concrete, funding toward this project will provide the following: De-pave a majority of the concrete parking lot, offer an open and accessible community and public green space for the students and surrounding neighborhoods, divert and reuse rainwater (for sustainability and teaching), improve traffic congestion and make safe walkways, and create natural play structures, outdoor play, community and meeting areas, outdoor classrooms. 

“The Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center is so excited to be part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's matching grant program with Patronicity to use crowdfunding and state support as a platform for growing our school. Our unique school believes in education based on relationships; and uses the Reggio Emilia approach which encourages curiosity, discovery and connectedness,” said GRCDC Principal John Robinson. “This creates connection with not only our students, teachers and families, but the community at-large. We are ready to green our campus for our students and create an open and engaging space that our neighbors can enjoy as well.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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