Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park” project in Detroit

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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

LANSING, Mich. – The Northwest side of Detroit will soon gain a neighborhood park that celebrates and educates the community about the history of military service of Americans of African Ancestry to the USA. This will be accomplished through a new crowdfunding campaign that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit Urban Neighborhood Development Organization (UNDO) announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by July 25, 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 project will provide a reflective space to honor the past while simultaneously looking toward the future,” 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 Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Park will activate multiple lots of vacant land dedicated to those men and women who gave their lives to the United States of America. The campaign will complete the space by constructing a permanent, covered outdoor event shelter with handicap accessibility, removing asphalt patches, constructing a children's playscape and implementing a western-style, brick BBQ pit. In addition, donations will be used for strategic landscaping, application of solar panels on outdoor event shelter roofs and updates to the already installed horseshoe pitching courts.

“As a nonprofit organization that is new to a focused fundraising project, we’re finding the PSCP program to be an excellent tool that facilitates a targeted crowdfunding effort to a larger audience via social media,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of UNDO. “It enables a small-staffed organization to share its vision that traditional fundraising efforts can’t do. PSCP effectively makes the world our community. Ask not what your neighborhood can do for you, ask what you can do for your neighborhood.”

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

“Placemaking is about creating spaces that attract people, and there’s no doubt that is what’s being done for Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Park,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “We’re confident that with public support this project can be a community gathering space and source of pride for years to come.”

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 May 15, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,405,411 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 211 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $7.5 million raised from 39,255 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.