Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Big Rapids Fitness Court

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

$45,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – A portion of Rotary Park in Big Rapids will be transformed into a vibrant outdoor fitness court through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, National Fitness Campaign, and City of Big Rapids announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $45,000 by October 22, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This new fitness court is part of a much larger movement nationwide to bring accessible public fitness into our communities,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources to create this space and assist the BR Get Fit Initiative’s goals.”

This campaign will create a world-class outdoor gym re-imagined to fit in and transform this underused public space. The National Fitness Campaign design supports an ecosystem that combines a simple, seven-minute, high quality workout with connected, digital platforms to build fit communities through bodyweight circuit training.

"NFC is pleased to partner with the MEDC and Patronicity to contribute to the important work they’re doing in the state of Michigan,” said Mitch Menaged, founder of NFC. “We’re excited to support Big Rapids as they raise funds to make the new Fitness Court possible and look forward to supporting healthy living in the community as the program grows.”

With the installation of this outdoor gym, Rotary Park will become the perfect place to walk, run, bike and work out for free. The Fitness Court will build community, make fitness engaging, and allow residents and visitors to get outside and get active together.

“Living a healthy lifestyle is a goal that many aspire to and one that can benefit the community as a whole in many ways,” said Big Rapids City Manager Mark Gifford. “The BR Get Fit initiative that would bring the National Fitness Campaign to Big Rapids at Rotary Park would be unlikely without the generosity of local partners like the Big Rapids Rotary Club and Spectrum Health Big Rapids, and impossible without the help of the PSCP matching grant program.”  

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which 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, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Creating public spaces that are welcoming to all is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Fitness Court will be an inviting addition to the workout options for people from all walks of life.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of August 2018, MEDC has provided $5,253,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 165 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.2 million raised from 31,534 individual donors.

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.