Crowdfunding campaign launched for Parcourse Renovation in Watervliet

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

$35,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Lakeland Hospital Watervliet is creating a space for citizens in the Tri-City area of Watervliet, Coloma and Hartford, as well as southwest Michigan, to focus on their fitness and overall well-being through a new crowdfunding campaign the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Lakeland Health Foundation announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $35,000 by June 30, 2019, 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:

“Accessible outdoor community fitness is a growing demand in public placemaking,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “This parcourse is a great example of putting that into motion. We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign is being led by Lakeland Health Foundation and will complete renovations to a formerly dilapidated parcourse, replacing the old 1.1-mile gravel-base track originally opened in 1981. The foundation, along with community members, will create a new, updated space featuring two quarter-mile asphalt loops to accommodate individuals who may use wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility aids. Each loop will feature four stations or pods, and each station will include diverse types of professional grade exercise equipment offering varying degrees of difficulty for all fitness levels.

“We’re so grateful for the opportunity to receive a matching grant from the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. We’re also thrilled to offer the Tri-City area of Watervliet, Coloma and Hartford a chance to invest in the health of their community,” said Brandi Smith, vice president of philanthropy and president of foundations for Spectrum Health Lakeland. “The renovated Parcourse will provide the public with a state-of-the-art greenspace allowing for safe exercise at no additional cost.”

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

“Providing attractive outdoor spaces for recreation and fitness is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This parcourse will give a boost to the aesthetics of the park as well as residents’ health.”

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 1, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,375,441 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 204 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $7 million raised from 39,030 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.