©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Crowdfunding campaign launched for “Rebuild Alma’s Wright DREAM Park” project

Monday, February 12, 2018

Kathleen Achtenberg

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

LANSING, Mich. – Alma will rebuild and modernize its Wright Park, also known as Castle Park, with the help of a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Alma, and Rebuilding Alma’s Wright DREAM Park Committee announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by March 28, 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: http://www.patronicity.com/rebuildingcastlepark.

“It is great to see that cities like Alma are taking the initiative to create safer and more inclusive space for play in their communities,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “The Public Spaces Community Places program is pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort.”

Funding raised during this campaign will create a new structure to provide play opportunities that meet today's playground equipment standards and need for a new inclusive play space. The hard Michigan winters, as well as decades of use from fun-loving children, has worn the park to its current dilapidated condition.

The new playscape will offer age-appropriate structures for children aged two to 12 years. The design has been recognized by PlayCore, a leader in play and recreation research, programming, and products, for meeting its “7 Principles of Inclusive Playgrounds” standards and has been named a national demonstration site by the company. The new equipment comes with a lifetime guarantee and will be able to withstand Michigan winters and years upon years of children's play.

The rebuilding of this play structure is just one of many exciting changes coming to Wright Park. Other projects include pickle ball courts, a community garden, and a new restroom facility. Wright DREAM Park will contribute to the betterment of Alma’s community and the inclusion of all peoples.

“Rebuilding Alma’s Wright Dream Park Project has been approved to participate in the Public Spaces, Community Places Grant Program offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Dream Team has been blessed to see just over $100,000 already given in support of this $200,000 project,” said Andi Whitmore, chairperson of the Dream Team. “With the partnership through the MEDC, a matching grant of $50,000 will help us finish our project and bring the new playscape to Alma in June 2018. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t seem adequate enough to express our gratitude in how this DREAM is becoming a REALITY, but we are very much aware that it takes ‘teamwork to make the dream work’ and we are thankful for the honorary Dream Team member of the Public Spaces Community Places grant program.”

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.

“Being welcoming is one of the key attributes of successful communities in the 21st century,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Alma’s creation of a playscape that meets the highest standards of inclusive playgrounds clearly puts out the welcome mat for children and families.”

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 October 31, 2017, MEDC has provided $4,117,333 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 143 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $5 million raised from 25,980 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 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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