Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Riverfront Pavilion” project in Otsego

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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

LANSING, Mich. – The riverfront of the Kalamazoo River in downtown Otsego will gain a gathering space through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Otsego Mainstreet DDA announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowd funding goal of $50,000 by Nov. 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:

“This campaign will build on Otsego’s Riverfront Development Plan, resulting in a beautiful pavilion and creating a space for communal gathering in Otsego,” 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.”

In 2014, Otsego Main Street gathered public input to find out what the community envisioned for the city-owned property along the Kalamazoo River. It was through this public planning process that Otsego Main Street began work on the Riverfront Development Plan, which was finished in 2018. This project will be an implementation of that plan.

The City of Otsego has a rich community heritage. The town name comes from two Iroquois words signifying a place to meet, gather, and greet. This Riverfront Pavilion will be a multi-use year-round space for Otsego’s Farmer's Market, community events and festivities, and as a sheltered ice rink in the winter. It will serve as a space for family, friends, and community to come together for 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

“Developing diverse cultural and recreational opportunities in a community is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The Riverfront Pavilion will provide a great focal point for those activities and attract residents and visitors 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 August 26, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,768,196 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 225 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $8 million raised from 41,547 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.