Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the Celebrating Community Project in Detroit

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Northwest Detroit will soon be home to a vibrant greenspace and community commons with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit EcoWorks announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by September 24, 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, visit:

“This space will serve as a tangible example of sustainable development all while providing a learning and gathering space in a connected community,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this collective effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign will transform an underused lot into an engaging neighborhood space complete with native plantings, playscapes for children, an artistic stormwater management system, a community kitchen, and an accessible indoor gathering space adjacent to the lot. The flexible outdoor space will serve as an outdoor classroom, a venue for social gatherings, live music, film screenings, and more. Ecoworks will also facilitate energy and water efficiency demonstrations on the site and open up their neighboring indoor space through this campaign.

The space has been designed and developed through the Celebrating Community design process. The process was developed with Detroit Center for Collaborative Design (DCDC) and included a Motor City Makeover event, barbeques, and multiple listening and design sessions for neighbors and held a special design session just for youth. Many of the elements of the space were heard and imagined in these sessions.

"EcoWorks has been around since 1981, so we’re an organization with deep roots in the city but we’re new to the neighborhood. When we were out in our green space with residents, it really spoke to them as a place that could function as a pocket park, a place for children to play, and a place to host community events,” said EcoWorks Communicatiuons Coordinator Amy Parsons. “We want to share this beautiful space we have with our neighbors while showcasing sustainability features that are affordable, attractive, and can be adopted by other neighborhoods and the MEDC Public Spaces Community Places matching grant will help us to achieve that.”

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

“Activating public spaces is a great way to bring vibrancy and a sense of community to neighborhoods,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Celebrating Community design process used with this project will ensure that the end product is something that residents will truly use and enjoy.”

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 July 15, 2018, MEDC has provided $4,988,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 171 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6 million raised from 30,918 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.