Farmington pocket park among projects funded by unique program

 Farmington pocket park among projects funded by unique program

Public Spaces Community Places helped raise $80,000 for a downtown Farmington pocket park.

The NW Goldberg neighborhood of Detroit will soon transform a vacant corner lot into an intentionally designed green space and mini park to uplift the community through the anticipated success of a crowdfunding campaign.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the local nonprofit NW Goldberg Cares announced the project May 22.

A similar crowdfunding campaign raised $80,000 (exceeding the $75,000 goal) to build a new pocket park in downtown Farmington.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $11,000 by July 7, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“This project will transform an underutilized corner lot into a safe, beautiful green space, creating a neighborhood asset for all to enjoy,” said MEDC Regional Prosperity Managing Director Paula Holtz.

“We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project to complete the space through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

Goal: 20 parks by 2025

The McGraw Mini-Park is the sixth park as part of NW Goldberg Cares’ 20 BY ’25 INITIATIVE — a goal to bring 20 public community green spaces to the NW Goldberg neighborhood by the end of 2025.

A well-known southeast-Michigan neighborhood will be the focus of a beautifying landscaping project.
A well known southeast Michigan neighborhood will be the focus of a beautifying landscaping project

They will be working with internationally recognized artist Matthew Hoffman to create a life-size, climbable, permanent work of art that will be created directly from resident input.

The funding from this campaign will be used to complete the mini-park with a walking path, benches, seating options, fencing, plantings, and the artwork celebrating the community.

Multiple purposes for finished space

The space will host a variety of wellness and relaxation programs in the space, such as Wellness Wednesday events, meditation workshops, stretching for senior citizens, and yoga classes.

“We are excited to use the PSCP matching grant program to make our sixth park in our community a reality,” said NW Goldberg Cares Founder and Executive Director Daniel A. Washington.

“We are proud believers in the power of crowdfunding and public spaces to create opportunity for everyone.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC.

Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

‘Improve human experience’

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm supporter of placemaking projects happening around our state,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the League. “This project will help transform the NW Goldberg neighborhood and improve the human experience for all who will interact with it. This is what placemaking is all about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of April 30, 2023, MEDC has provided more than $11.4 million in matching grants.

Since the launch of the program, 343 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $13 million raised from 65,483 individual donors. Communities have a 97 percent success rate in achieving their goals and earning matching funds.

Ed Wright

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