Crowdfunding campaign launched for Before the Bay Park project in Bay City

Thursday, November 15, 2018

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

LANSING, Mich. – Bay City will transform the underused Realtor Park into a vibrant park with public art through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $30,000 by January 15, 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 park will serve as a gateway to Bay City and provide a space for people to gather and spend time when visiting downtown,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign will completely transform Realtor Park into a usable amenity for visitors and residents alike. Continuing the momentum of the Bay City Beautification Committee, and in collaboration with local artist Jason Graham, the project will revitalize the park by installing new trees, improving maintenance, planting new grass, adding a walkway through the park, adding park benches and lighting, and installing a sculptural piece of art that will be a statement piece and representation of Bay City. 

“The Leadership Bay County Class of 2019 is proud to announce their community service project for 2019, Before the Bay Park Project. The project will be a revitalization of Realtor Park located between Jenny and Thomas streets on Bay City's west side. The renewed space, along with a custom art piece, will more closely align with our appreciation for our city, the river that we identify with, but most importantly, the collaboration of several people and organizations, a true example of the community spirit that exists here in Bay County,” said Tammy Claramunt, leadership class participant and grant chairperson. “This project would not be possible without the help of the Public Spaces Community Places 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

“Engaging public spaces, particularly those that incorporate artistic aspects, are key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Bay City’s Before the Bay Park Project hits the target on both fronts, providing a valuable amenity to both residents and visitors.”

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 October 31, 2018, MEDC has provided $5,609,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 184 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $6.6 million raised from 33,132 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.