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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC
(517) 335-4590

Cindy Conkle, Director of Annual Fund
(616) 988-5430 x 3

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for 'Rebuild Grand Rapids Sigsbee Playscale'

$29,500 goal to win matching grant through MEDC Public Spaces Community Places initiative


Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will create a communal playspace to replace a degraded structure that was well-loved by the neighborhood.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $29,500 by June 30th, 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:

“Public Spaces Community Places has the opportunity to save an active community site from becoming a vacant space through the new Sigsbee Playscape,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to be able to partner on and resource this effort.”

The existing playground equipment at Sigsbee is falling apart and unsafe, and the grounds are in disrepair. Soon this playground will be removed and will leave an empty lot in its wake, but some local community leaders saw the opportunity to act. The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation, City of Grand Rapids, Carters Kids, ELNC and Grand Rapids Public Schools have joined forces and resources to prepare the site for a new and improved place. The new playscape will include various elements for play and interaction that all ages can enjoy, resulting in a safe and exciting space to gather and grow.

“In the heart of every great community is a place where neighbors gather. Sigsbee Park and Playground is that place,” said Grand Rapids Public School Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal. ”We are eager to partner with the community to realize a shared vision of a bright and appealing new playground for the children, students and families of Eastown Neighborhood to play and thrive."

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where 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, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

“Sigsbee Park and Playground has clearly been loved by Eastown Neighborhood families for many years,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “It’s exciting that so many community groups are coming together to create a new playscape that will make their neighborhood an inviting place to live for many more generations.”

Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check, where more than 93,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.

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 and talent 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 Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

For additional information, contact Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League, at and (810) 874-1073.

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at





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