Placemaking Mini-Grants

Through the Regional Prosperity Initiative, the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development (CUPPAD) Regional Commission established a competitive mini-grant program available to local governments and nonprofit organizations to initiate or improve placemaking principles in their local communities. Initiatives that enhance downtowns, parks, neighborhoods, plazas, or any public gathering space can greatly impact a community’s sense of place. The Prosperous Places Mini-Grant Program aims to build a thriving future for Central Upper Peninsula communities by creating places where people want to live, work, and play.

Grant requests were between $500 and $5,000 and required a one-to-one match. With 24 applications received, totaling $93,000 in requests, a grant review committee was tasked with determining the most viable way to distribute the $60,000 available. Careful consideration was given to projects that were accessible to the whole community and that had demonstrated local support.

CUPPAD is pleased to support the following 17 projects with their placemaking efforts that will result in numerous public benefits:

Bay Community College- Funds will be used to install Phase 1 of a multi-phase community pathway project. Phase 1 involves installing a pedestrian pathway that connects the city of Escanba’s North 30th bike path to an existing nature trail that surrounds the City’s soccer fields.

City of Gladstone- Along Delta Avenue, a main corridor through Gladstone’s downtown, streetscape improvements will be made including the addition of wayfinding signs, bicycle storage racks, and benches.

City of Ishpeming- Placemaking funds will be used in conjuction with a larger remodeling project for the United States National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Project items include public art, bike/ski racks, decorative banners, unique seating, children’s play area, and a walkway to the facility.

City of Manistique- Triangle Park, a focal point of downtown Manistique, will undergo placemaking enhancements that include the replacement of diseased trees, installation of trash containers and benches as well as additional landscaping.

Dickinson County- Lake Antoine Park offers locals many activities but park revitalization is a demonstrated community need. Included in the project scope is the renovation of the concession stand and addition of a basketball court to the park.

Felch Township– Placemaking funds will be used to create a farmer’s market gathering area that neighbors the existing township hall. Included in this space, will be a green space with a gazebo.

Friends of the Braumart- The Historic Braumart Theater, located in downtown Iron Mountain, will have curb appeal improvements including sidewalk enhancements, planting of a tree, and addition of a custom-painted public bench.

Iron Mountain DDA- The Power of Words Project Mural will bring the power of words to life by using the tranformative influence of art through a community-based, creative, humanitarian mural project to be located in downtown Iron Mountain.

Maple Ridge Township- West Side Park, located in Rock and home to many community events, will have improvements that include the addition of benches, a foundation to an existing gabezo, and landscaping.

Menominee DDA- Placemaking funds will provide wayfinding signage in Menominee’s Historic Waterfront District. The signage will increase attendance at local festivals and events, and make them more viable and sustainable.

Michigamme Township DDA- Funds will provide a resting place, including a small gazebo and foundation, at the Pocket Park in Michigamme Township, where visitors can meet while enjoying this view of Lake Michigamme.

Munising Downtown Development Authority- Funds will be used for banners designed through the Munising DDA Downtown Banner Design Contest to be displayed in downtown Munising.

Nahma Music Festival- Placemaking funds will be used to repair antique lumber carts located in the center of Nahma’s Main Street Boulevard area and have them planted with flowers.

Negaunee Township Community Center Board- The illumination project will be along the existing 1.3 mile loop of the greater 6.5 mile Community Center Trail Network. This project will increase access to the trail network significantly and in doing so increase the utilization of the Community Center as a whole.

Powers-Spalding Beautification Committee- Funds will be used to transform an otherwise drab highway intersection into an attraction that enhances community appeal. The project scope includes the planting of flowers along two major highways in the center of town.

Schoolcraft County Chamber of Commerce- The Haywire Grade Signing Project includes the installation of mile marker signs and information kiosks highlighting historical railroad and logging information unique to the area.

St. Vincent de Paul- The St. Vincent de Paul Alley Beautification project, located in the City of Manistique, will focus on transforming a well travelled alleyway into vibrant community gathering space.

Projects utilizing Prosperous Places funds are to be completed by June 30, 2017.


Place making video


What is Placemaking?

Placemaking is a community-based approach to the planning, design and management of spaces that have local and regional importance. It involves the discovery and implementation of practices that make our communities distinctive, economically viable, accessible and visually pleasing. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential, creating good public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and economic well-being. Please view the grant guidelines to learn more about what placemaking projects may be a good fit for your community.

Please call the CUPPAD office at (906) 786-9234 with any questions.