Crowdfunding campaign launched for “From West End to Best End” project in Ludington

Monday, February 26, 2018

$32,500 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – The city of Ludington will transform a dead-end road into a pedestrian plaza at the Stearns Beach recreation area and provide a gathering place for events with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and city of Ludington announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $32,500 by April 1, 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:

“The activation of spaces that have long been underused is what Public Spaces Community Places is about,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort to create an accessible pedestrian plaza and asset for the Ludington community.” 

Funding raised during this campaign will create a communally-envisioned space to gather and spend time. The plaza will be a place to hold public and private events and will include an area for events tables, several accessible benches for sunset watching and enjoying the view of Lake Michigan, a connection to the Lake Michigan Water Trail Stop via accessible walkway, and a kayak rack for water trail users. 

This environmentally friendly initiative ensures that plant life native to the area will be used and that no invasive species are introduced in its landscaping. The Stearns Beach Recreation Area is a largely undeveloped section of Lake Michigan frontage in the city of Ludington for public beach access and Lake Michigan access. This project will make better and more public use of the area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“The city of Ludington is excited and appreciative of the MEDC’s decision to provide matching funds under the Public Spaces Community Places program for the city’s From West End to Best End project,” said Ludington City Manager John Shay. “These grant funds will assist the city in transforming an underutilized piece of waterfront property into a popular gathering space, which will be universally accessible to all people. The PSCP program will be instrumental in increasing the public’s access to the waterfront for many years to come.”

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

“Enhancing public spaces and turning them into appealing community assets is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Ludington’s plan to create a lively plaza at Stearns Beach will make a great use of that site for residents and tourists alike.” 

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 February 15, 2018, MEDC has provided $4,700,666 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 154 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $5.6 million raised from 28,416 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.