Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Eberwhite Playground’ project in Ann Arbor

Monday, March 2, 2020

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

LANSING, Mich. – A dedicated group of Ann Arbor residents and parents are coming together to complete an inclusive playground through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Eberwhite Parent Teacher Organization 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 May 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 development of universally accessible play spaces for people of all abilities is at the forefront of placemaking today,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to have the Eberwhite Playground participate in our Public Spaces Community Places program as an example of inclusive placemaking.”

For nearly 30 years, local children and their families cherished the former Eberwhite Playground at Eberwhite Elementary School. In 2018, the playground was demolished due to structural decay and being assessed as unsafe for play. This project is a result of volunteer response to the loss of that community space. The campaign will complete the play space by funding the second and final phase, which is a third-through-fifth grade playground. The new Eberwhite Playground will provide a safe, accessible and vibrant space for neighbors and residents to gather and play for decades to come.

“From start to finish, the Eberwhite Playground Rebuild has been an opportunity to see just how much a community can do when they have a shared vision,” said Eberwhite Playground Rebuild Steering Committee Chair Karmen Saran. “The PSCP matching grant is a perfect partner for our modern-day barn raising – the building of an accessible playground that will inspire generations of kids through the power of play. After two years of fundraising, planning and building, we are honored to partner with the MEDC to achieve our goal.”

In addition, the playground embodies the school’s emphasis on being a “Green School.” Eberwhite has long been recognized for actively teaching and practicing earth-friendly habits. There are 29 acres of natural woods immediately surrounding the playground and school, and the new playground will incorporate these natural features and include natural playscapes for play and learning.

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

“Creating inclusive public spaces is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This playground rebuild will help people of all abilities feel welcome in the community.”

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 Feb. 27, 2020, MEDC has provided nearly $7.3 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 238 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $8.5 million raised from 43,395 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.