Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for the “Hiawatha Park Playground” in Ironwood

Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

Tom Bergman
Community Development Director
906-932-5050 *126
[email protected]


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

LANSING, Mich. – Hiawatha Park in downtown Ironwood will soon gain a downtown play space through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and city of Ironwood 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 September 13, 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 Hiawatha Park Playground will breathe new life into an underutilized place and create a new space for gathering and communal activity in Ironwood,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Hiawatha Park was established with the installation of the Hiawatha Statue, originally erected in 1964 and rehabilitated by the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce a few years ago. The statue has remained strong and continues to keep watch over the Gogebic Range. This project will add ADA playground structures and surface to the park, creating a space for families to gather and enjoy the scenic location that overlooks downtown. This park is set up to be an active community gathering space for residents of the surrounding neighborhood, the downtown, and nearby trail users. Creating playground amenities for this park, which is currently mostly vacant, will add much-needed vibrancy and activity to this key connector point in our community and to the adjacent Miners Park.

“The city of Ironwood is excited to partner with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Patronicity to develop a new playground for the Historic Hiawatha Park in Ironwood,” said Ironwood Community Development Director Tom Bergman. “Located just a few blocks up the hill from Downtown Ironwood, this high visibility park is an iconic landmark in Ironwood. With the help of the MEDC, Patronicity, and all the people that care about making Ironwood a better place for visitors, families, and residents, we can make this playground possible.”

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 strong supporter of placemaking projects happening in Michigan’s communities,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This play space will improve the human experience for all who utilize it, and create a positive experience that will last for generations in the Ironwood community. This is what placemaking is truly all 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 June 30, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 353 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $13.3 million raised from 66,520 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)
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