Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to “Reimagine the Kantzler Memorial Arboretum” in Bay City

Kathleen Achtenberg, MEDC
[email protected]

Jerry Somalski
President- Bay City in Bloom


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

LANSING, Mich. – The beloved Kantzler Arboretum in Bay City will soon become a universally accessible space and create a new boardwalk at the riverfront through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the local nonprofit Bay City in Bloom (BCIB) announced the campaign today, which is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by Dec. 11, 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 project will allow for a spectacular community space to become accessible to all for years to come,” 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.”

The Kantzler Memorial Arboretum has a rich history of being a public-private partnership between the City of Bay City and community groups. Bay City Garden Club (BCGC) first initiated the idea to create an arboretum on city-owned land and brought the idea to the City of Bay City. For over 50 years, the two entities have continued to foster a strong relationship.

This new project will include new universally designed features and elements at the arboretum and boardwalk, such as accessible pathways, seating, and amenities, creating a space that is welcoming and usable by individuals of diverse abilities. Additionally, the introduction of shade structures and additional plantings will continue to build upon the beauty of the space and provide comfortable and accessible spaces for all visitors into the future.

“The PSCP matching grant program will help us complete our fundraising for phase one at Kantzler Memorial Arboretum by offering a match to our local fundraising efforts,” said Bay City in Bloom President Jerry Somalski. “It is much easier getting donations when people know that their donation will have twice the impact on our community.”

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 believer in the importance of placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “The Bay City community is ensuring that this space will be enjoyed by all through incorporating accessibility into this project. They are ensuring that it will truly improve the human experience for all; this is what placemaking is 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 May 31, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $12 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 362 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with nearly $13.8 million raised from 67,699 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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