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Crowdfunding campaign launched for the “Downtown Williamston Old Mill Park Improvements” project

Press Release

Contact:
Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
517.489.0557
achtenbergk@michigan.org

Corey Schmidt
City Manager- Williamston
517.655.2774
manager@williamston-mi.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2021

Crowdfunding campaign launched for the “Downtown Williamston Old Mill Park Improvements” project

$40,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. –Downtown Williamston will complete the Old Mill Park Riverfront revitalization by replacing the boardwalk with a new pathway, picnic areas, gazebo, landscaping, and other amenities through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and city of Williamston announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $40,000 by July 2, 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: patronicity.com/downtownwilliamston.

“Activating underutilized areas and creating more vibrant and inclusive public places is what our program is all about,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “The revitalization effort at Old Mill Park in Williamston will breathe new life into this beloved park, making it more enjoyable for residents and visitors alike. We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

This project will activate an underutilized area of downtown Williamston along the Red Cedar River and provide a critical link between two sides of the downtown district for pedestrians to enjoy. The City of Williamston Downtown Development Authority has been leading this revitalization effort at Old Mill Park which includes the replacement of the boardwalk with a new accessible pathway along the Red Cedar River, installation of three overlook areas with picnic tables, a connection to McCormick Park with a new crosswalk, the replacement of the current gazebo with a new wheelchair accessible gazebo, and site amenities including new trees and seating areas. This project will be a part of a major improvement project that will create wonderful recreation spaces in downtown Williamston.

“By participating in the PSCP matching grant program, the city of Williamston has an opportunity to revitalize a key gathering space in the downtown district. The matching grant will provide the final push of funding needed to leverage other grant and donation dollars,” said Williamston City Manager Corey Schmidt. “This project will make the riverfront area in Old Mill Park a destination area, bringing in visitors to our business district and offering our residents additional gathering and recreation spaces.”

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.

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that build on existing assets and enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, League’s CEO and Executive Director. “Completing the Old Mill Park Riverfront revitalization does both. It improves upon what already exists in ways that better serve everyone living in and visiting Williamston. 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 April 28, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $8.4 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 267 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $9.8 million raised from 47,364 individual donors.


Photo and rendering courtesy of the city of Williamston

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.

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