Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Sanctuary Island Boathouse’

Thursday, July 7, 2016

$18,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC and MSHDA’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – A boathouse will be constructed in the village of Alanson with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Village of Alanson announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The boathouse will be situated along the Crooked River within Sanctuary Island Park, bringing recreational activities and amenities to the space. 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $18,000 by August 14, 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 

“Public Spaces Community Places is a great tool to help raise funding for community projects,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to be able to direct resources and partner in efforts like this to increase recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.” 

Sanctuary Island Park was created in 2006 as a permanent community green space for local residents. The village is seeking the community’s help for the next phase of the park project, the construction of a new boathouse along the Crooked River within Sanctuary Island Park. The boathouse will be approximately 46' by 34' in size and will feature two boat dock wells, a restroom, and storage room.  

“This project infuses recreation opportunities for residents and visitors with the history of the inland waterway,” MSHDA Executive Director Kevin Elsenheimer said. “With the support of the local community the Public Spaces Community Places initiative can help make the vision for the Sanctuary Island Boathouse a reality.” 

Along with providing additional free water recreation opportunities for community members and youth including boating, fishing, bird watching and educational opportunities, the new boathouse-restroom facility will fulfill other key purposes. The first and most critical, is to provide restrooms for park and waterway users. The new restroom will be ADA compliant. The second most important feature of the boathouse is to allow volunteers from the Inland Water Route Historical Society (IWRHS) the opportunity to offer free, guided public boat trips on the Inland Waterway.  

The project is also expected to increase downtown pedestrian traffic. The proximity of downtown to Sanctuary Island Park, combined with the opportunity for boats to tie-up to the boardwalks installed last summer, will encourage users to stop and explore. 

“The Crooked River Boathouse project is near and dear to our hearts and we are fully committed to making our dream a reality but we need your help! This project is aiming to construct the only public restrooms on the Crooked River, create a housing for the Inland Water Route Historical Society launch hull, and provide a stopping point along the river for recreation and education. it really will be a facility for the whole community to enjoy," said Village Treasurer Jennifer Carson.  

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

“The Michigan Municipal League believes in creating places and spaces that people will love,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and executive director. “The new boathouse in Alanson will help create that sense of place and will be a source of pride in the community for years to come.” 

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.