Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Little Bear Park Project’ in St. Ignace

Monday, August 2, 2021

$20,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – A new destination called Little Bear Park will soon make its home in St. Ignace complete with two ball fields, bathrooms, a concession stand, a recreation trail around its pond and a fishing dock. This effort will be made possible through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and city of St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by September 2, 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 new recreational space will give people a place to gather and create memories in St. Ignace,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Little Bear Park will add to St. Ignace’s developing downtown business district, adding a new space for recreation and gathering. The Little Bear Park Project is being led by the St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in partnership with the City of St. Ignace Recreation Department. The recreation trail that is being added to the park will be a part of the North Country Trail System. The extra ball fields are needed for local recreation and summer tournaments, which will attract visitors and allow teams to stay local.

“The Public Spaces Community Places grant program is helping the city of St. Ignace finish the Little Bear Park Project by matching all donations to the project,” said St. Ignace Downtown Development Director Scott Marshall. “The new park will have two ball fields, concession stand with bathrooms, fishing dock and recreation trail. We are almost done but we still need your help to bring it home.”

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

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Creating this new Little Bear Park will definitely improve the experience for all living in and visiting St. Ignace. That is what community wealth building is about.”

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 July 30, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 285 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.3 million raised from 49,527 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.