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$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative
LANSING, Mich. – The village of Vicksburg will soon restore an underused public park located in the heart of Vicksburg's historic downtown to provide a comfortable community gathering space. This effort will be made possible through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and village of Vicksburg 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 October 8, 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: patronicity.com/oswalt.
“This campaign will ensure that an underused public space is activated and updated for a variety of community uses well into the future,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Oswalt Park project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”
Oswalt Park, named after the long-time banker and gentleman "Uncle Jim" Oswalt, sits quietly in the heart of Vicksburg's historic downtown. The revitalization and redesign of Oswalt Park will create a gathering space within steps of live music, art activities, and the village’s downtown corridor with its unique shops and dining opportunities.
The new space will provide seating, a heating element, and family-friendly game spaces that will enhance the village’s newly established social district. The design will also include elements that tie the park directly to its historic past while supporting Vicksburg’s placemaking goals of the future.
“Opportunities like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Public Spaces Community Places grant match program are a lifeline to small communities such as ours,” said Village of Vicksburg Council President Tim Frisbie. “Thinking big just becomes bigger with programs like this and growing into these types of dreams are essential to life in Vicksburg growing into a visionary future.”
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 https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.
“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Bringing Oswalt Park back to life does both. It improves upon what already exists in ways that better serve everyone living in and visiting Vicksburg. 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.
In 2019, the MEDC supported the Paper City Development, LLC project in the village of Vicksburg and Schoolcraft Township through Michigan Strategic Fund approval of a Transformational Brownfield Plan. The Mill at Vicksburg project includes the redevelopment of the abandoned historic Vicksburg Paper Mill into a multi-site mixed-use redevelopment project that will include hotel and residential space, incubator space for microbreweries, a beer garden, demo gardens, public green space, and more. The project is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in mid-2026.
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 www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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