WUPPDR announces municipality microgrants

HOUGHTON – The Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) recently announced that its 2016 Placemaking Microgrant Program has awarded funding to seven municipalities in its six-county Western U.P. region. The agency, which hosted a public informational session on placemaking in May, funded the project-oriented program via the state of Michigan’s 2016 Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI).

The 2016 WUPPDR RPI Microgrant awards were awarded to Ontonagon County’s Bergland Township, $1,500 for “Welcome to Bergland” signage. The City of Hancock received $1,500 for two signs at the Driving Park Ball Field in West Hancock. The Hancock Finnish Theme Committee was awarded $3,000 for live Finnish music at the Tori (Farmers’) Market. The city of Houghton also received $3,000 to support its Downtown Farmers’ Market. Also receiving a $3,000 grant was the village of L’Anse for a downtown pocket park. The village of Ontonagon also received $3,000 for augmentation to its downtown pocket park, while the city of Ironwood received the same amount for the same purpose.

A pocket park is a small, publicly accessible park, usually found in a downtown area.

“This is the first year in which we’ve awarded placemaking grants,” Brad Barnett, WUPPDR assistant planner said, “but we hope to see this in the next round of RPI funding.”

Barnett said the goal of the microgrants is to allow communities a sense of place that can attract highly skilled, talented people who can choose where they live and where they play.