‘Placemaking Mini-Grants’ to help transform communities

Projects in Corunna and Laingsburg are among the 15 communities of the I-69 Thumb Region awarded $2,000 each from the state’s Placemaking Mini-Grant Program. The program, funded with financial support from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and administered by the I-69 Thumb Region partners, was established to help communities implement small impactful projects that encourage and contribute to a stronger sense of place.

“We are excited to be able to support these projects, which we hope will serve to increase activity in these public spaces,” said Justin Horvath, President/CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, one of the seven partners of the I-69 Thumb Region.

In the City of Corunna, benches and trash receptacles will be placed for public use along the Shiawassee River in Heritage Park.

The City of Laingsburg DDA received the award to place outdoor seating for restaurants and shops in the downtown.

In addition to the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, the I-69 Thumb Region is comprised of the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, Lapeer Development Corp., Sanilac & Huron County Economic Development Corp., and Tuscola County Economic Development Corp.

Other projects in the region awarded grants:

  • Casco Township- New entrance signs for the new Casco Township Belle River Park
  • Cass City Chamber – Landscaping and new gateway signs for Cass City on M-81
  • City of Croswell – Contributions toward a kayak launch on the Black River
  • City of Flint – Beautification of undeveloped areas off Brush Alley
  • City of Grand Blanc – Creation of two murals near the Grand Chalet Shoppes
  • City of Lapeer – Contributions toward new decorative streetlights for downtown
  • City of Sandusky – Revamp the city’s website
  • Friends of the Port Hope Railroad-Port Hope – Installing an aluminum architectural flagpole, including plantings at the marina
  • Grand Blanc Township – Installing bike fix it station and rest stop at Bicentennial Park
  • Village of Millington – Installing bike racks downtown
  • Village of North Branch – Contribution toward the installation of  a level 2, dual-port Electric Vehicle Charging station
  • Village of Pigeon – Helping to create new Pickle Ball Courts
  • Yale Public School-Yale – Contributions toward the replacement of playground equipment

Placemaking has an important role in the realm of community and economic development, according to the Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities.