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Planning and Economic Development

Contact: Amanda Minaudo

Email: amanda.minaudo@macombgov.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 21, 2022

Macomb County awards $40,000 in placemaking grants to local communities ahead of Michigan’s Downtown Day

Department to fund projects aimed at revitalizing or creating public spaces in downtowns

Ahead of the September 24 celebration of Downtown Day in Michigan, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) has announced the recipients of its Placemaking Mini Grant opportunity, a program that funds projects in traditional downtown communities and other established DDA jurisdictions. The grant will assist local initiatives that activate public placemaking, or places where people gather and spend time, and that support the sustainability and greening of infrastructure and storm water systems.

Three local communities were awarded funds: Eastpointe, Mount Clemens and St. Clair Shores.

“We are so proud to award this first-ever Placemaking Mini Grant,” said Amanda Minaudo, program director for MCPED. “We know that beautiful spaces with well designed infrastructure can be a major asset for municipalities, as they attract residents, businesses and additional investment. But ultimately, our goal is to help create community and fund projects with vision and purpose. Our grant awardees demonstrate just that.”

Eastpointe - Eastpointe Children’s Garden: The City of Eastpointe requested funding to refurbish the city’s Children’s Garden, a unique outdoor, public space adjacent to the Memorial Library. Installed over a decade ago, the garden is the anchor for a new market space. The city plans to purchase and install several permanent fixtures in the garden to enhance the work currently being completed in the planting areas, including a metal and glass arbor to showcase the entrance to the Garden from the marketplace, a new metal bench and ADA-compliant picnic table set, three-dimensional art pieces for the opposing blank wall and a permanent vertical garden to buffer the Children’s Garden space from an adjacent business parking lot. The goal is to also transform the garden into a butterfly and hummingbird attraction and create areas for professional photographs; something that is completely missing in Eastpointe.

Mount Clemens - Mount Clemens Streetscape Lighting Beautification Project: The City of Mount Clemens requested funding to extend and complete the lighting of essential high foot traffic areas of its historic and traditional downtown. The project will provide lighting enhancements that will take place in Macomb Place from Pine Street to SB Gratiot. It will also include the south side of Cherry Street Mall, N. Walnut from Cass to New Street and building lights that will highlight the Macomb Place alley mural.This streetscape beautification project will create a sense of beauty as well as security and safety for visitors and businesses located in the footprint of the proposed project area.

St. Clair Shores -  SCS Downtown Greening and Identity Initiative: The SCS Downtown Development Authority requested funding for a multi-faceted project that, when complete, will both beautify the area and create an identity within the newly formed district. Primarily, the project will add green infrastructure along Greater Mack at the intersection of Doremus. Project activities include removing an area of impermeable surface and an area of existing landscape to be replaced with two bio retention cells. The bioretention cells will be implemented in two phases but will eventually result in a 54 percent reduction, or 8,597 gallons, of storm water runoff in the project area. The project will be located in a highly visible and popular area which hosts a number of public events drawing thousands of residents from around the region. Additionally, as part of the project, identity banners will be designed and hung within the district.

To be considered for a grant, projects had to be located in Macomb County’s traditional downtowns and other established DDA jurisdictions. Eligible projects had to also have a minimum total development cost of $10,000, where the recipient would commit to a 50 percent match for the project. This match could be in the form of in-kind work, crowdfunding, funding from community partners or allocated dollars from the community/DDA. The maximum award  for these grant funds was $20,000 per community.

Learn more about Macomb County Planning and Economic Development at ped.macombgov.org/PED-Home.

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