Placemaking Mini-Grants

Prosperous Places 2018

The Prosperous Places Mini-grant application window has closed and CUPPAD is pleased to announce this year’s award recipients. 28 applications were received this year, with proposals coming from each of the six counties in the Central U.P. With $54,000 in program funding made available by the Regional Prosperity Council this year, CUPPAD will provide support funding to 18 regionally significant projects.

Projects utilizing Prosperous Places funds for this cycle are to be completed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Project Name
Award Recipient
Award Amount
1. Hematite Art Park City of Ishpeming, Marquette County Marquette County Land Bank – Ishpeming $5,000

The project involves the transformation of a vacant lot owned by the Marquette County Land Bank Authority into the “Hematite Art Park.” The lot is the site of a formerly blighted residence that was demolished using Land Bank and State of Michigan Hardest Hit funds. The lot is located in a highly visible location, along Business M-28, directly across from the main entrance to the Ishpeming High School. Funds will be used to develop three art panels with a pathway, benches, and landscaping. Art panels will be modeled after those located on the Iron Ore Heritage Trail which is 1,400 feet from this site, less than 10 minutes by foot. The art panels will display artwork from students and community members and have an emphasis on portraying the history of the community and the school district.

Additional benches, art panels, memorial trees, and landscaping features are envisioned to be added to the park through donations or crowd funding over the next 12-24 months. The park is laid out in a way that it can be expanded if adjacent land becomes available in the future.


2. Triangle Park Improvements City of Menominee, Menominee County City of Menominee $5,000

Working with the Menominee Women’s Club and a private donor, the City plans to make this park a truly welcoming site.  The Women’s Club plans to build a pergola at the south end of the park which will provide seating for visitors and residents.  Parking spaces will be available at the pergola site.  The City also plans to erect three flag poles for the City, State, and US Flag which will be placed directly behind the fountain, making the area very visible to travelers on. US41.  The park will also be landscaped and lighting will be added.  The park is also the site of a directional sign to the Historic Downtown District funded, in part, by a 2017 mini-grant.


3. Downtown Welcome Signs and Gardens City of Ishpeming, Marquette County City of Ishpeming $2,500

This project is to create two unique and distinctive welcome signs with decorative raised-bed gardens to welcome people into Ishpeming’s downtown center.  The signs recognize and celebrate the mining and skiing heritage of the city. The mining is symbolized by the sign material, which will be made of iron with cutout letters. The skiing heritage is symbolized in the shape of the sign which represents the “Suicide Hill” ski jump site which has been in continuous operation for 132 years and is the oldest continuously operating ski jump in the Western Hemisphere. Reflective material letters allows night vision. Grant funds will be used to build and install the signs and gardens.


4. Munising Dog Park City of Munising, Alger County Alger County Chamber of Commerce $5,000

Currently there is no dog park for residents and visitors to Alger County. This would give the large population of dog owners that live and visit here the opportunity to exercise and socialize their dog. Many times, visitors come to the area to visit the national park. Dogs are not allowed on most of the trails and beaches within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Munising residents have indicated throughout the years they would like to have a dog park in their community.


5. Outdoor Lighthouse Mural City of Escanaba, Delta County Bonifas Arts Center $1,800

The project will enhance the Ludington streetscape with a mural on the outer wall of DeGrand, Reardon & Hall, P.C. law offices building in downtown Escanaba. The mural will represent the community of Escanaba. The mural will show the Sand Point Lighthouse in silhouette. The Lighthouse will be rendered in the colors of sunset and surrounded by a golden frame. The project will be headed by the local mural artist James Finlan.  Mr. Finlan has painted multiple murals in the Upper Peninsula to general acclaim. A crew of Bonifas and community volunteers will participate in the painting of the mural. The grant funds will be used to pay the artist for the work, cover insurance, and acquire supplies.


6. Welcome to Lake Antione Park! Breitung Township, Dickinson County Lake Antoine Park Partners $3,978

Lake Antoine Park is located within Breitung Township on the east shore of Lake Antoine, a popular water body in southwest Dickinson County, near Iron Mountain. Lake Antoine Park is maintained by the County and offers a sandy, shallow beach for family-friendly swimming. It is open for camping from Memorial Day through the end of September, featuring 10 rustic and 80 improved campsites, two pavilions, band shell, a public access boat ramp, playground areas, sand volleyball court, concession stand and a basketball court. Lake Antoine is a popular recreation area for swimming, motorized and non-motorized boating, fishing and camping. Dickinson County has struggled with budget concerns for the last several years and although Lake Antoine Park has received upgrades with outdoor showers, a concession stand and a half-court basketball area, there are still many improvements and enhancements that are needed to restore Lake Antoine Park and to maximize its potential as a social gathering place. In 2016, a group of concerned citizens volunteered their time and resources to assist the Parks Manager with spring cleanup, painting and making basic repairs to equipment and amenities.


7. Historic Ore Cart Planters City of Negaunee, Marquette County City of Negaunee Beautification Committee $500

We currently have 15 wooden ore carts that are 26 years old. Many of the current carts are rotting and in need of replacement.  They are planted with fresh flowers every summer and placed around town for all to enjoy and add a cohesive look through our city. They act as a visual reminder of our mining heritage as well as a way of drawing visitors into the Historic Downtown of Negaunee.

We will use this grant to have new ore carts built by Kevin Bells Negaunee High Schools Wood Working class. We are replacing 8 carts this summer and building 4 new carts.


8. Downtown Munising Alley Beautification – Phase 2 City of Munising, Alger County Munising DDA $5,000

This will aid in cleaning up alleys and turn unused spaces into areas that are more visually appealing. It will aid art, culture and walkability for the community and visitors alike. This will take place in the downtown district and will benefit the downtown businesses as some of these “unsightly” alleys will be cleaned up and appealing.


9. Farmers Market Enhancement City of Gladstone, Delta County City of Gladstone $2,400

Project Enhance Farmers Market is intended to increase the interest in our market and enhance the ability of residents to obtain fresh, locally grown foods. The Farmers Market currently offers quality vendors with an array of fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and more. We want to attract more people to the market by creating a more attractive, fun atmosphere while they are shopping. Some of the items requested are needed to enhance the experience and still others are meant entertain and entice people to stop shop and enjoy the event. Currently the market hosts a stage for entertaining. The stage has an open awning above it. If the weather is poor, the musicians are exposed to the weather and it causes issues with their electrical equipment. A covering would be purchased to go over the awning to protect the musicians during inclement weather as well as provide a more esthetic atmosphere. Five musicians would be secured to provide entertainment at the market every other week. A wagon would be purchased to assist customers with loading and unloading of their merchandise. Two park benches are needed to provide visitors with an opportunity to take a break while enjoying the market. Three new tables are needed for expanding market vendors. More signage is needed to welcome and draw people into the market; an air dancer sign will be purchased as well as two flags that welcome folks to the market and a writable sign to advertise the goods and events featured for the day. Finally, reusable market bags would be purchased and used to support vendors and shoppers with their purchases.


10. & 11. 1st Street Memorial of Trees and The Hermansville Pocket Park (2 Projects) Hermansville, Meyer Township, Menominee County William Anderson Sportsmen Club and Meyer Township $5,000

The Memorial of Trees / 1st Street Streetscape Enhancement project will be a continuation of work of a local community member, John Malone. Mr. Malone realized the need for community placemaking and helped with the formation of the park. The park is home to a veteran’s memorial, honor/memorial plaque, a Croatian Memorial, and the first well hand pump in town.

The grant funds will be used to buy 20-30 trees to be planted in the area. The Township, Sportsmen Club, and other community organizations will aid in tree watering until the trees have established mature root systems. The goal is to begin plant trees on Arbor Day (April 26, 2019).

The project also includes the development of a pocket park next to the community center/township hall. This would add a small trail made of pavers to provide a flat surface for all individuals. It will also have plants/bushes, and one to two benches for people can relax on, and enjoy their day. Before, the lot was vacant; it had a blighted building and was recently removed within the last 5-10 years.


12. Delta County Airport Dog Park City of Escanaba, Delta County City of Escanaba $5,000

Funds will be utilized for construction of a dog park for residents and visitors. The park will feature fenced in areas with appropriate signage. Depending on funding available, the construction of a covered pavilion/picnic area will also be added. Dog bag dispensers, benches, proper signage, garbage receptacles, water source, and activities (to include recycled materials for tires, bridges, slides, etc.). There are currently no dog parks in the area, visitors and residents alike will benefit.


13. Powell Township Neighborhood News Big Bay, Powell Township, Marquette County Powell Township $1,500

Our priority through the rest of 2018 and the end of 2019 is to seriously improve our engagement with the Township citizens and our visitors.  We have plans for significant improvement in our trails, public spaces such as Burns Landing and local activities such as Music in the Park during the summer months. We believe a key step in improving our community’s attraction to outside visitors is to first help people know where they are and what is here of interest.  Increasing outside visitors by creating a more welcoming environment will encourage local entrepreneurs to commit to improving local shops and points of interest.   We hope to be able to offer better guidance and venues for guests to our area and want to be more welcoming to our “Day Trippers”.  Parks and Recreation hopes to reach the 900+residents of Powell Township as well as our hundreds of summer residents.  Moving forward we believe we can reach potentially hundreds -perhaps thousands of return visitors who came for a first visit and found a safe and welcoming community and natural environment so inviting that they return again and again.


14. Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve Infrastructure Improvement Harvey, Chocolay Township, Marquette County U.P. Land Conservancy $1,600

The 12-acre Nature Preserve is located in the Village of Harvey, five miles south of the City of Marquette. More specifically, it is located on the north side of West Main Street bounded on the east by Hotel Place, on the north by the Iron Ore Heritage Troll/North Country Trail and the west by a body of water known as the Chocolay Bayou, on old channel of the Chocolay River.

The Preserve property was purchased by Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy (UPLC) in 2016. A system of foot trolls has been developed, Including 350 feet of boardwalk through a central wetland. Some interpretative signage has been installed, with more in production. Two information kiosks are in place with mops and brochures. These are located near the southeast corner of the property off Main Street, and at the northeast corner along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. Currently. there is no parking area for visitors who arrive by automobile. Users have been parking along the shoulder of Main Street or in a privately owned restaurant parking lot. Neither is an ideal situation, for safety and other reasons. Additionally, the Main Street entrance into the preserve is not identified with signage.

An area on the west side of the preserve is currently being used by canoeists and kayakers as a landing site from the bayou onto the preserve. The bank is being eroded due to foot traffic on the steep bank. This is a desirable area for boaters to use, but must be stabilized to prevent further erosion and damage. Funds will be used for the following activities: installation of a gravel driveway and parking area, an entry sign, installation of a short floating dock, and two bicycle parking racks.


15. Fuzzy Boyak Welcome Center Facelift City of Munising, Alger County Greater Munising Bay Partnership for Commerce – Munising $2,300

The project will be the addition of new placemaking images and signage on the welcome center building in downtown Munising. These images represent the county and sites that surround us. These images will be created by a graphic designer and will represent Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Hiawatha National Forest, waterfalls and lighthouses. There will also be a community sign and a wayfinding sign for Binsfield Bayshore Park and the City dock.


16. Stay to Play! Spalding Township, Menominee County Spalding Township $5,000

The project is to purchase and install a new playground unit in the Veterans’ Memorial Park. We recently had our existing playground equipment inspected by a certified playground safety inspector and discovered that several pieces of equipment were not safe and had to be removed.  This is the only public playground in the entire township and we want to purchase and install a multi-activity playground unit that is attractive, safe, and compliant with the American Disabilities Act.  Too many children are suffering from obesity and health-related issues, due in part from lack of physical activity.  Because so many family and community functions are held at this park, it is important to provide a quality environment that encourages children to get involved in creative, outdoor play.  This playground unit is geared towards children from 5 to 12 years of age.


17. BPPA Walking Trails Enhancement Ingallston Township, Menominee County Bailey Property Preservation Association, Inc. and West Shore Fishing Museum $1,000

We have employed Mark Polega to create a correctly scaled map of the entire Fishing Museum property which includes a number of buildings and the surrounding woods and trails.  As of now, we only have hand-drawn maps that are not to scale.  We need this document for an upcoming building project and future grant applications. We will also install trail signage including both trail maps and important historical descriptions related to the property and surrounding area, along with wooden benches to be placed along the trails.


18. Friends of Days River Pathway Masonville and Rapid River Townships (between Rapid River and Gladstone), Delta County Delta County Nonmotorized Trails $1,422

Funds will be used to leverage the participation of committed partners, including the Great Lakes Conservation Corps (GLCC) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with funding necessary to purchase lumber, materials, and equipment to construct trail bypass systems away from critical and sensitive wetland habitat found at Days River Pathway. Due to the pathway’s increasing usage and popularity year-round, trail conditions have deteriorated in certain areas resulting in poor conditions for the recreation user and more important, the natural habitat. The value of the trail network’s contribution to Delta County’s sense of place cannot be underestimated as it is listed as the #1 destination on TripAdvisor for “Things to Do” in Gladstone, MI; its continued maintenance is considered a priority. The monetary boost from this grant will expand the partnership between the Delta County Non-motorized Trails organization which recently formed an agreement with the Michigan DNR to assist the state with taking an active role in planning and coordinating hands-on trail maintenance events of this local gem. Subsequently, the Delta County Non-motorized Trails organization approached the Great Lakes Conservation Corps due to their complementary work to conduct watershed and habitat restoration and trail development projects through the Upper Peninsula. While GLCC provides a work crew of at least half dozen young adults (18-25) along with their trained supervisors, a truck, tools, and safety equipment, the Place Making Mini- Grant funding would be used to expand upon the GLCC effort to purchase lumber necessary to construct bypass networks along the nine-mile route whereas Loop 5 has been identified as particularly overused. The project is open to the public and volunteers will be encouraged to assist during the work week anticipating 300 volunteers over the week. The results of the project will benefit the thousands of recreation enthusiasts whom rely on the Days River Pathway for their year-round recreational passions including cross country skiing, biking, hiking, snow shoeing, and bird watching, while also increasing awareness about the important work of the Delta County Non-motorized Trail organization to expand recreation opportunities and encourage interest in Delta County trails.


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. View the grant guidelines within the application form to learn more about what placemaking projects may be a good fit for your community.


Please call Ryan Soucy at (906) 399-1371 with any questions.