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Press Release


Contact:

Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC
517.335.4590
achtenbergk@michigan.org

Colleen O'Toole
City Manager - Durand
cotoole@durandmi.com
989.288.3113

Matt Bach
Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
734.669-6317; C: 810. 874.1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2018

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Railroad Street Park in Durand

$7.500 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – The city of Durand will transform a vacant parcel near the railroad tracks in the downtown business district into a vibrant public park through a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and city of Durand announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $7,500 by May 31, 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/railroadstreet.

“This project is a great example of a city acknowledging the demands for a space from the community and collectively designing a space to meet that demand,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for and serve as a partner in this effort under the Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This campaign will create a community gathering space in a spot where people have been gathering for years. The site overlooks Durand’s iconic Union Station and downtown business district. It is frequently visited by locals and visitors alike to capture the perfect image of the historic train depot which sits just across the railroad tracks. The park will be the home of the Durand Farmer's Market and Wednesday Night Live, a weekly all-ages summer concert series sponsored by the Durand DDA.

The funding will be used to add a sizable landscaped barrier between the rail lines and the park while still maintaining views of the Grand Chateau Revival style depot; add new hardscape features such as brick corner columns at the entrance and benches looking into the park; install new lighting elements that match the existing lamp posts along Saginaw Street to improve visibility in the space; and complete a mural along the wall of the existing structure that sits on Hagel Street. Crews will also be replanting sod throughout some of the patchy portions of the project are to create a useable greenspace.

“The city of Durand and its residents are deeply grateful for the support and commitment of MEDC to placemaking in communities all across Michigan," said Durand City Manager Colleen O’Toole. “Large or small, the MEDC understands that place matters.”

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.

“Enhancing public spaces and turning them into appealing community assets is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “The planned improvements to Durand’s Railroad Street Park are sure to make this area an even more popular gathering space for residents and visitors alike.”

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 April 20, 2018, MEDC has provided $4,875,166 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 157 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $5.8 million raised from 29,181 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: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

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 mml.org.

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