Prosperous Places 2019

The Prosperous Places Mini-grant application window has closed and CUPPAD is pleased to announce this year’s award recipients.

25 applications were received this year, with proposals coming from each of the six counties in the Central U.P. With $66,000 in program funding made available by the Regional Prosperity Council this year, CUPPAD will provide support funding to 15 regionally significant projects.

Projects utilizing Prosperous Places funds for this cycle are to be completed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Project Name Location Award Recipient Award Amount
1. Carp River Kiln Gateway Plaza City of Marquette, Marquette County Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority $5,000

This project will take an abandoned, vacant lot and develop it into a gateway plaza attraction along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. The centerpiece of the plaza will be the restoration of the Carp River beehive sandstone kiln that collapsed in 2016. It was the last surviving kiln out of 43 kilns that were once used to burn wood for charcoal to feed the Carp River Furnace, owned by entrepreneur John Burt. The kiln was made of local sandstone and stood along U.S. Highway 41 near the Marquette Wastewater Treatment Plant. A heavy, wet, spring snowfall in March 2016 took down the last remaining stones and they have laid in a pile since that time. The funds will be used to develop the site, fill in the slumped area to trail level, to restore the kiln using the original stones, develop accessible walkways to the kiln from the Heritage Trail, add a metal grate door to the kiln, add interpretive signs, benches, bike racks, pavers, and public art.

2. Picture Perfect in the Alley
City of  Munising, Alger County
Munising Downtown Development Authority

Picture Perfect in the Alley will revitalize and re-purpose an alley in downtown Munising, adding to the walkability of the area and increasing traffic to local businesses. The alley will be transformed into a greenspace with plants, flowers, and decorative fencing. It will also be home to art and photography of the Munising area done by local artists.

3. Power of Words Project Mural
City of Manistique, Schoolcraft County
Lake Effect Community Arts Center

This new mural will be located on the south side of the St. Vincent de Paul’s Furniture Thrift Store, in the pedestrian alley that connects the South Cedar Street business area with the city parking lot. The St. Vincent de Paul organization was awarded a Prosperous Places mini-grant in 2016 to fix up the alley that connects the downtown businesses. The walls were painted, lighting was installed, and a walkway of paving stones replaced the uneven cement. Planting areas, tables and chairs, and artwork along the south side were installed. The North wall is brick and painted a solid blue. This is the proposed location for the new Power of Words mural, to be completed in June of 2020. For the mural, award winning artist Mia Tavonatti will work with local artists, students, and the larger community to choose a word around which the design will be based.

4. Hematite Art Park, Phase 2
City of  Ishpeming, Marquette County
Marquette County Land Bank Authority

Last year, Prosperous Places funds were awarded for the Hematite Art Park in which trees and greenery were planted on a vacant lot next to the Ishpeming High School and Middle School campus. Benches and fences were erected, along with a display of art pieces from the students. This year, the lot for the Art Park has doubled in size with the removal of a blighted building. Students will aid in the construction of more art panels, a walkway, stylized fencing, benches, and landscaping features such as more trees and large hematite rocks.

5. Noquemanon Trails Network Trailhead Welcome Project
City of Marquette, Marquette County
Noquemanon Trails Network Council

The Noquemanon Trail Network Welcome Project is an initiative to better connect, inform, and engage all types of visitors upon their arrival to NTN Trailheads. Kiosks are being redesigned from the ground up as part of the project to unify feel, messaging and storytelling across the trail network, educate and guide users, and leave lasting first and last impressions with visitors. Five timber form kiosks constructed from local materials, artistic elements, and professionally designed signage will convey a sense of place and understanding of volunteer trail efforts. Strategically placed interactive benches at or near the kiosks will provide a place to play, pause, and reflect.

6. Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Park
City of Negaunee, Marquette County
Negaune VFW

This project will take place in front of the Negaunee City Hall where a dilapidated memorial wall with overgrown landscaping now stands. The funds will be used to revitalize the memorial wall with new signage, bronze seals of all military branches, removal of rotting wood, restoration of the wooden eagle on top of the memorial, along with new landscaping, benches, a lighted flagpole and patio space. The neglected lot will turn into a memorial park for all members of the community to enjoy.

7. Friends of the Days River Pathway 2019 Improvements
City of Gladstone, Delta County
Delta County Nonmotorized Trails

Loop 2 of the Days River Pathway is to be completely upgraded with this project, while loops 3-5 will receive limited upgrades and general repair from heavy use and erosion. This is the second year of a multi-year trail upgrade and an expansion of the system. The broken boardwalk will also be repaired. This project will ensure that the Days River Pathway remains a popular destination, while encouraging people heading through the county to stay and play, benefiting local businesses and economy.

8. Munising’s Flower & Greenspace Improvements
City of  Munising, Alger County
Munising Downtown Development Authority

This project serves to beautify the downtown area of Munising for the community and visitor alike. The goal is to have 20 or more planters and other greenspace installations in front of downtown storefronts. The planters will be throughout all downtown Munising and Binsfeld Bayshore Park, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

9. Lake Antoine Beach Accessibility Enhancements
Breitung Township, Dickinson County
Lake Antoine Park Partners

The beach at Lake Antoine has undergone some big changes in the past few years. This year, the Lake Antoine Partners will expand accessibility for people with mobility challenges. Two reserved parking spaces are planned for people with disabilities and an ADA compliant pathway will be constructed to the beach area. Portable beach mats designed to support the weight of a wheelchair and offer stable footing to individuals with walkers can be rolled out from the pathway, over the sand, and into the water. New benches and signs will be accompanying the path. People who never had access to Lake Antoine will now have the opportunity for that experience.

10. A Gathering Place
City of Manistique, Schoolcraft County
Blue Mystique, LLC

This project will transform the vacant space at Trader’s Point into a multi-purpose community venue. A covered deck will be built to be used as a gathering space for art and science exhibits, classes, musical concerts, and a picnic area. The structure will be barrier free and ADA accessible, making this space open for everyone. Trader’s Point is a place where people seem to naturally gather and share their talents. This project to continue to serve the community by offering a true Gathering Place for local students, 4H and other clubs, artists, musicians, and everyone in between.

11. Munising Mobile-Friendly Wayfinding Directories
City of  Munising, Alger County
Alger County Chamber of Commerce

These new visually attractive directories will guide visitors to all businesses within the Munising city limits. These directories will be mobile-friendly and will provide directions and descriptions of businesses. Visitors can access them with their mobile devices, making mobile navigation to local businesses and attractions easier. Updating the mobile directory will be cheap and effective when businesses in the area change. Four physical directories will be strategically placed and accessible to the community and visitors, advertising the service.

12. D.J. Jacobetti Veterans Home Native Community Garden
City of Marquette, Marquette County
Superior Watershed Partnership

This project will design and construct a native pollinator garden with terraced and raised garden beds on the southern hillside of the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans, overlooking US-41. Right now it is an area of mowed grass and invasive species. These invasive species will be removed, the existing fruit trees taken care of, and a functioning perennial and edible plant garden will be constructed to best capture stormwater runoff and direct it to the garden area. This will prevent erosion of the hillside and to provide a natural filtration system to assist in the bioremediation of storm water pollutants. An ADA accessible pathway will be established for access for all residents.

13. “Check Out” Bay College: A Signature Public Art Addition
City of  Escanaba, Delta County
Bay College

In 2017, the courtyard at Bay College was redesigned intentionally to serve as a public place to relax and enjoy the outdoors among native plants, benches, and public art. This year, the courtyard is seeing new use as a primary location for public programming such as food trucks and live entertainment and is an ideal space on campus for students, faculty and staff, and community members to gather. With six public art pieces, the courtyard is gradually becoming more officially a “sculpture garden” and more pieces are added as they become available. However, what we lack is that “signature piece” that is large in scale, iconic, interactive, and could serve as a destination for its photo-worthiness. The signature piece, a blue and green 18 foot tall stylized check mark, is sure to grab the attention of students, faculty, and the greater community. The sculpture incorporates STEM concepts in its design, made with one hundred and eighty triangular faces, it will display an interesting dance of light, shade, and shadow while acting as a functional sun dial. It is the hope of Bay College that this is the start of a year-round sculpture garden and an eventual “public art trail” on campus.

14. Home Field Advantage
Township of Breitung, Dickinson County
Charter Township of Breitung

East Kingsford Park is the oldest park in the township and is located one block south of a major east/west arterial road and six blocks east of one of the busier streets in the area. The neighborhood park has undergone some updates in the past couple of years with new bleachers for the ball field and handicap accessible picnic tables. This project will increase the visibility of the park with the use of seasonal decorations and way-finding signs, making the park easier for new residents and visitors to discover.  We’re hoping to highlight this area in East Kingsford where people can find public recreation for all ages.  Community fundraising and outreach efforts will promote neighborhood ownership of this recreational resource.  Improvements in water and road infrastructure as well as recent Zoning Board of Appeals approval of more flexible housing options are all contributing to the revitalization of this neighborhood by giving them the Home Field Advantage.

15. Outdoor Four Seasons Mural
City of  Escanaba, Delta County
Bonifas Arts Center

Stephenson Park has an old pumphouse in need of repair that will soon be getting a facelift. Bonifas Arts Center and local mural artist James Finlan will be designing and painting four different murals on each side of the pumphouse. Each side will feature the nature and personality of the community in each of the four seasons.  This display of public art will make Stephenson Park inviting, spark community pride, and promote engagement in the arts.