Crowdfunding campaign launched for the ‘Sturgis Splash Pad’ project

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

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

Rendering courtesy of Vortex Aquatic Structures

LANSING, Mich. – The city of Sturgis will gain a fully accessible Great Lakes-themed splash pad through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and city of Sturgis announced today. The Sturgis Splash Pad campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by April 15, 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 Sturgis Splash Pad will offer accessible amenities that provide public recreation and capture the community’s character – modern placemaking at its best,” 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.”

The funding will transform an underutilized area of Thurston Woods Park into an active recreational area. Aside from completing the splash pad to meet the standards of universal design and accessibility, this project will also complete a restroom/changing facility, needed park amenities such as benches/seating, and site improvements including utilities, expanded parking, and sidewalk improvements. The splash pad will serve as a connected and complimentary use to the walking path, existing park/amenities, and surrounding community facilities, creating an intergenerational community space.

Thanks to numerous community members that assisted during the planning process, the city was able to collaboratively design a splash pad that the entire community can be proud of. The splash pad’s Great Lakes theme, Michigan mitten shape, and impressive water features were all intentionally selected from public feedback and intend to provide a unique visitor experience.

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 to enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Taking an underused portion of Thurston Woods Park in Sturgis and turning it into a Great Lakes-themed splashpad for all does both. With the support of the Sturgis-area community, this effort will improve the human experience for everyone for years to come. 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 Feb. 28, 2022, MEDC has provided more than $9.8 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 302 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $11.2 million raised from 51,922 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning our matching funds.

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.