Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park’ project in Pontiac

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

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

Rendering courtesy of Zaremba & Company


LANSING, Mich. – Neighborhood Park in Pontiac is being redeveloped into a state-of-the-art park for people of all ages to enjoy and honor a local icon, Mattie McKinney Hatchett. This effort will be made possible through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Pontiac Community Foundation 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 November 14, 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 revitalize a park in need of attention and renovation into a vibrant space for residents and visitors to gather, while also honoring a local changemaker,” 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.”

Funding raised for Neighborhood Park through this campaign will provide the renovated park with new outdoor fitness equipment for adults and youth and two new basketball courts.
Currently, the park’s amenities are in disrepair and dangerous. The playscape and basketball court are damaged and there is a lack of meaningful amenities at the park now.

The new amenities are one part of a large-scale renovation of the park that will include a playscape for all ages and abilities, a walking path around the park, new sidewalks and walkways, new park seating and general amenities, landscaping, soccer field and open play area, updated signage and branding, and more.

The park will honor the legacy of Commissioner Emeritus Mattie McKinney Hatchett, a community activist and leader who served on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners and made history as the first African American woman to serve as President of the Michigan Association of Counties. She also served as a trustee on the Pontiac School Board, and as Pontiac’s Deputy Mayor.

Since 1963, Commissioner Emeritus Hatchett has been actively involved in the community, with her professional career reflecting over 50 years of dedicated service. She is a well-respected leader who has served in many capacities over the years in the community and in the school district. The park is yet another way Commissioner Emeritus Hatchett will leave her mark on the city of Pontiac.

"We are overwhelmingly grateful to MEDC for providing us the opportunity to raise matching funds through the Public Spaces Community Places grant program," said Pontiac Community Foundation Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dustin McClellan. "This opportunity will have an incredible impact on the city of Pontiac by enabling us to raise the necessary funds to create a state-of-the-art park for the city's residents."

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 build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin. “Reimagining Neighborhood Park in a way that honors a local legend does both. This effort will restore a park to better serve everyone living in and visiting Pontiac. 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 Aug. 31, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 290 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.5 million raised from 50,104 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.