This August, the Ellsworth community set out to raise over $60,000 to support plans for the first phase of a new community square which would turn a blighted lot into a beautiful public park in the heart of their downtown.
Through a new crowdfunding initiative called Public Spaces Community Places from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Detroit based company Patronicity, the community was awarded $26,000 from the State after they successfully raised $27,000 in 30 days.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the community for working together to accomplish our goals,” said Village President Hugh Campbell. “We now have a wonderful space to enjoy that will be here for generations to come and I sincerely thank each and every person who contributed towards our goal.”
Since the campaign was completed last month, the site has seen drastic improvements.
The charred buildings have been demolished and removed, and the site has been graded and prepared for irrigation, lighting, landscaping, and decorative fencing. It is the Village’s hope to have phase one completed before the winter weather arrives.
“It’s the coming together of people that build vibrant communities and that leads to incredible place-making initiatives. Patronicity is very excited to see the Ellsworth Community Square rise from the ashes,” said Patronicity President Ebrahim Varachia.
Plans for phase two will begin in 2016 and will include the addition of public restrooms, final landscaping, and a covered structure to house community concerts, ceremonies, and other functions that bring vitality to the downtown.
The Ellsworth Community Square is located adjacent to Banks Township Hall and will support the community during festivals and special events.
Members of the public who are interested in making a tax deductible donating to the next phase of the project should contact Hugh Campbell at the Ellsworth Village Hall by calling 231-588-7411.
If your community is interested in crowdfunding for a public project, please contact Bethany Pearson, Community Development Specialist with the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance at 231-582-6482.