Big Rapids, Gaylord and Hart projects get funding through Put Your Town on the Map competition in 2022

Photo courtesy of Consumer’s Energy Foundation

Big Rapids, Gaylord and Hart have secured funding for various projects through the 2022 Put Your Town on the Map competition, according to the Consumer’s Energy Foundation.

“Consumers Energy recognizes that small towns and rural towns in Michigan may not have the same access as large cities to resources to support projects in their communities,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumer’s Energy Foundation. . “These winning projects will help transform and grow their communities, and we look forward to celebrating with them once the projects are completed.”

Among the winning projects are:

  • Big Rapids – First Place, $25,000: The Big Rapids Skatepark project will give the city a modernized skatepark. Along with the development of the skatepark, Big Rapids plans to expand public art with skateable art, a graffiti wall, and unique sculptures.
  • Gaylord – Second Place, $15,000: The funding will be used for a devastated three-block alley, as well as the development of the Art in the Alley Way, which will connect the Gaylord Gateway trailhead to Claude Shannon Park. Art in the Alley Way, according to the Consumer’s Energy Foundation, will be a year-round gathering place that supports street art exhibits. This includes murals, a place to showcase the work of local artists, trash cans, lighting and benches.
  • Hart – Third Place, $10,000: In an effort to attract more visitors to its downtown area, Hart recently launched an initiative called The Hart Project. The city is working to host a major arts event, install 25 murals by 2025, and build a 20-foot tin sculpture of a man holding a huge heart in downtown Hart.

The Put Your Town on the Map competition was launched in 2019 to reward ideas and fund projects being developed in small towns. Communities of up to 10,000 people could apply.

The winners were chosen Wednesday by a panel of judges after representatives from ten finalist communities made presentations at the 2022 Small Town and Rural Development Conference led by the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.

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