Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Capitol Park Off-Leash Dog Park” project in Detroit

Thursday, September 19, 2019

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

LANSING, Mich. – The historic Capitol Park neighborhood in downtown Detroit will soon gain an off-leash dog park through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and local nonprofit Downtown Detroit Partnership Inc. announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by November 19, the project will secure a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“Dog parks like the Capitol Park Off-Leash Dog Park bring residents, neighbors and visitors together informally, creating a sense of community within their gates,” said MEDC Director of Community Development Incentives Lori Mullins. “We are pleased to provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The nonprofit Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) advances engagement, development and programs that benefit businesses, residents and visitors throughout downtown Detroit. After serving as a transit hub for decades, Capitol Park is ready for transformation. The time has come to replace the concrete with a park that, when completed, will create a lush urban oasis that honors its past, promotes sustainable design and fosters connections through multiple functions in the park, including the new dog park.

Born out of extensive engagement with the community, the Capitol Park Off-Leash Dog Park project will create a new 1,800-sq.-ft. space that is modeled after the popular Grand Circus Dog Park. The campaign will create a public dog park free for the public to use and provide entry-level access, fencing, seating, an airlock gate and much-needed space for dogs to wander and play.

“The Off-Leash Dog Park at Capitol Park is just one of the exciting new features within the complete Capitol Park renovation plan,” said Bob Gregory, chief planning and public space officer for DDP. “The feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly supportive of the new space and the opportunity to participate in MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program will help turn this idea into reality.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which 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 key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Responding to the community’s desire for a dog park in this space is sure to make it a popular destination for 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 Sept. 11, MEDC has provided $6,800,196 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 227 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $8 million raised from 41,767 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.