Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Walnut Neighborhood Park’ project in Lansing

Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

Pastor Curt Wright
Crossroads Church of Lansing
[email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2021

Crowdfunding campaign launched for ‘Walnut Neighborhood Park’ project in Lansing

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

Rendering courtesy of Elements Studio Inc. Landscape Architecture

LANSING, Mich. – The Walnut neighborhood in Lansing will soon be home to a new community space with a playground, basketball court, pavilion, and inviting landscape with the help of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Crossroads Church of Lansing announced today. The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by November 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:

“This campaign will create beauty from the ashes, transforming an eyesore into a welcoming community asset for residents and visitors to enjoy,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for the Walnut Neighborhood Park project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Rendering courtesy of Elements Studio Inc. Landscape Architecture

The Walnut Neighborhood Park project will include removing an abandoned house that has sat empty for several years after a fire, creating an eyesore in the neighborhood. When the former owner offered to donate the house to neighboring Crossroads Church, the church began to envision turning the ashes of this abandoned house into an inviting park where people can play basketball, share a picnic, throw a Frisbee, or gather with friends.

Through this campaign, Crossroads Church of Lansing will turn a blemish in the Walnut Neighborhood into an attractive space and provide residents with a basketball court, pavilion, greenspace, and playground that can be enjoyed by the entire neighborhood.

“We believe the best way to serve our neighborhood is to not only remove the abandoned and blighted house but replace it with something beautiful we will all use,” said Crossroads Church Pastor Curt Wright. “We simply did not know how we were going to achieve this vision. The provision of the Public Spaces Community Places matching funding is an answered prayer.”

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

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance the human experience for everyone,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “Creating this new park in Lansing’s Walnut neighborhood does exactly that. With the community’s support, this park will be a source of pride and enjoyment for all people for years to come. That’s 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 Aug. 31, 2021, MEDC has provided more than $9 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 290 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.5 million raised from 50,104 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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