Five northern Michigan communities become an “even cooler” place

Five northern Michigan communities use placemaking grants to add public features to their communities, enhancing their sense of place.

Placemaking is an important economic strategy, and continues to work in a number of Michigan communities. The goal is to create a community and region which attracts educated and knowledgeable workers. It means creating good physical forms that attract strong business and social activity to create a strong sense of place.

Bellaire, Mancelona, East Jordan, Mackinaw City and Petoskey were recently awarded grants by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG), in partnership with Michigan State University Extension partner, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), the Alliance for Economic Success and the Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation. These grants collectively equaled a value of $15,000. In addition, each community was required to provide matching funds. The five local grantees have plans to make improvements to their communities.

  • The Village of Bellaire was awarded $2,500 for kayak/canoe portaging stations in Richardi Park at the Intermediate River.
  • The Village of Mancelona was awarded $2,500 for benches, tables and landscaping in downtown parks.
  • The City of East Jordan was awarded $5,000 for a kayak/canoe/bicycle rack at the mouth of the Jordan River.
  • Mackinaw City was awarded $2,000 for Historical Pathway interpretive sign improvements including QR codes and audio recordings.
  • The City of Petoskey was awarded $3,000 to enhance the usability of outdoor space at the Petoskey District Library, including tables and a bike rack.

”Placemaking is anything a community can do to improve the aesthetic, social, economic conditions in a way that is distinct from neighboring communities.” said Matt McCauley, Director of Regional Planning at Northwest Michigan Council of Governments(NWMCOG). These grant awards allow for local communities to make changes from a place people want to go through into a place they want to stay.

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