2016-10-06 / Front Page

Fundraiser Will Help Create Park

St. Anthony’s Rock, Downtown St. Ignace
By Sam Morgen


In downtown St. Ignace, a piece of property offers a view of the limestone sea stack St. Anthony’s Rock. It will be the future site of a municipal park and restroom facility, and community members are able to donate to the improvement project online. It is seen here Monday, October 3. In downtown St. Ignace, a piece of property offers a view of the limestone sea stack St. Anthony’s Rock. It will be the future site of a municipal park and restroom facility, and community members are able to donate to the improvement project online. It is seen here Monday, October 3. Hoping to raise $25,000 for a downtown park and restroom between Zak’s Fudge and Harrington’s, the St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority will launch an online fundraising campaign Friday, October 7, with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which might match local contributions.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA), in charge of designing the new park, plans to install a rest area with tables and chairs, along with a bank of five toilets, one designated for family, three for women, and one for men. Behind the park, St. Anthony’s Rock looms large. The new park is designed to enable a view of the landmark from the street and replaces an old building that was torn down last year. The development will solve a longstanding problem downtown, which lacks adequate public toilets.

People can donate online at www.patronicity.com/stanthonysrock. A video of the project shows the park and St. Anthony’s Rock and contains interviews with Mayor Connie

Litzner, DDA Chairman Jim North, and DDA Director Deb Evashevski. It was made Tuesday, September 20.

Incentives for contributing to the project include a handwritten postcard with artwork from Leon Ruder for a $10 donation, a watercolor by Mr. Ruder for a $100 donation, entry into a drawing for a Mackinac Bridge tower tour for two for $250, the book, “Images of America: St. Ignace,” for a $500 donation, and name added to plaque at the park for $1,000. With each step up the contribution ladder, donators will receive all incentives for levels below their donation.

The park is estimated to cost $120,000, and the DDA has pledged $60,000 to the park, which will come from the sale of two downtown properties it owns.

The remaining money for the park will come from the online cam- paign. If $25,000 is raised by November 21, the two state agencies will make another $25,000 contribution.

Creating small downtown parks like this one, known as pocket parks, is “a fantastic way to turn an under-used space into a destination spot for residents and visitors,” Michigan Municipal League CEO and Executive Director Dan Gilmartin said. “We hope the community supports this effort in the great city of St. Ignace so that people can enjoy this park for years to come.”

Mrs. Litzner said the remaining work needs to be done by the citizens of St. Ignace.

“Everybody,” she said, “needs to pitch in and do their part.”

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