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Press Release


Kathy Achtenberg, MEDC

Carol Fulsher

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
734.669.6317; C: 810.874.1073;


Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Carp River Kiln Gateway Plaza

$25,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Marquette will resurrect their historical Carp River beehive kiln and feature it in the new destination plaza along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail through a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority (IOHRA) announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by June 21, 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 gateway plaza will not only transform a barren space but will create a place that honors the region’s history and creates a cultural stop on the heritage trail,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign will complete a new gateway park along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail featuring the rebuilt historic beehive kiln and surrounding it with art, landscaping, walkways, lighting, benches, and interpretive signs.  The Carp River Kiln Gateway Plaza will become a new community space that pays tribute to Marquette’s iron mining history and provides a connecting space that welcomes people to Marquette.

“The MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program is a perfect fit for our project.  It gives us the tools to engage the public, who we know wants to take part in resurrecting the Carp River kiln, the iconic native sandstone, beehive shaped, piece of our industrial past.  Without the PSCP program, we wouldn’t be able to reach the thousands of residents and past residents who have a connection to the kiln, who know its story, and who drove past it every day when driving in and out of the city,” said Jim Thomas, chair of the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority.

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

“Paying homage to a community’s cultural traditions is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This project will give new life to the historic beehive kiln in a new plaza will draw in 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 Feb. 14, 2019, MEDC has provided $5,974,441 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 193 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $7 million raised from 36,775 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: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

iMichigan 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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