Seven Projects That Build Community Win Microgrants

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Seven Projects That Build Community Win Microgrants

Winners from Detroit, Clinton Twp., Flint, Harper Woods, Middleville, and Ypsilanti

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – Projects ranging from community-building bike rides to creating an oversized public chalkboard to supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs and more, received the first-ever Bridge Builder microgrants by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation.

Bridge Builders microgrants are for individuals, specifically emerging leaders, who are doing innovative work that intentionally and creatively brings people together, while socially distant, and mends broken relationships in the community.

Seven microgrants have been awarded to a wide variety of projects (view detailed descriptions here).  Examples range from a community garden that supplies food for neighbors while also teaching history lessons about the Underground Railroad, to a community book read on racism. These microgrants by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation support ‘boots on the ground’ initiatives that connect community residents and develop shared understanding and positive activity. The MML Foundation recognizes that action at the level of local community is central to the social, cultural, and economic recovery from the pandemic. Every municipality needs engaged and active citizens. A strong civic base is key to ensuring good governance and creating an equitable and vibrant place.

“Even in challenging times, we must remember our shared humanity and celebrate the things we love about the places we call ‘home’,” said Helen D. Johnson, president of the MML Foundation. “Bridge Builders grants support those who recognize our collective responsibility to co-create a better future for our communities. Every individual action adds up. That is how we build a future, together.”

The MML Foundation launched this new microgrant program in the summer and had planned to award six microgrants of up to $500 each. But thanks to additional funding, the Foundation was able to increase the number of grant recipients to seven. A total of 74 projects applied for the grants and there were 16 semifinalists that received more than 4,000 votes in the online public voting portion of the program. The seven funded projects are:

  • The Park Project – Flint, MI
  • Lane Bangerz Bike Club – Detroit, MI
  • Unifying Quinn Road – Clinton Township, MI
  • Rebuilding the Underground Railroad Garden – Ypsilanti, MI
  • Vaughn’s Bookstore – Detroit, MI
  • One Book One Community Middleville – Middleville, MI
  • Harper Woods SOUP and Small Business Showcase – Harper Woods, MI

The Foundation congratulates all applicants who submitted ideas and plans to continue and expand the program. Visit to learn more about the seven Bridge Builders microgrant recipients.

The cohort of Bridge Builders recipients will be meeting virtually to refine their programs and discuss how they can keep the momentum going in their respective communities.

Programs like this rely on partners and the generosity of partners and individual donors. If you’re interested in supporting programs like this, visit Those with questions or those interested in partnership opportunities should contact Danielle Beard at (517) 908-0308 or [email protected].

Media seeking additional information should contact Matt Bach, Michigan Municipal League communications director, at [email protected] and (810) 874-1073.

The MML Foundation is working to advance community wealth building across Michigan. The foundation does this work through strategic partnerships, investments in strong, diverse leadership for Michigan communities and place-based initiatives that drive equitable outcomes.

About the League: Michigan 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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