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News & Press: Lansing News

Community Foundation Receives $400,000 pledge from Rotary to name park

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  
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$800,000 with Foundation’s 1:1 match for riverfront development

The Community Foundation has received a pledge of $400,000 from the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation for naming rights to a new park, as part of a master plan for downtown riverfront development. The Community Foundation will match the gift for a total of $800,000, contingent upon final approval by the City of Lansing and signage.

“The park is located in a perfect place, on the riverfront near the Lansing Center where so much is starting to happen now. We’re thrilled to be part of the riverfront’s renaissance,” said Nicholas Heriford, president of the Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation. “Countless Rotary Clubs have named parks across the country. It’s exciting for our Club to play a key role in such an important project.”

Several amenities in the park have also been sponsored. Auto-Owners Insurance pledged $75,000 for a “Lighted Forest” and a fireplace on the plaza. Team Lansing Foundation (an arm of the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau) and Gillespie Group will split a $60,000 sponsorship of the “HUB,” a new venue for concerts and other events under the Shiawassee Bridge. An additional $60,000 has been pledged by individuals.

So far $1,092,000 has been committed to develop the downtown Lansing riverfront, including the Community Foundation’s matches. The Foundation has $400,000 left in matching funds to entice others to contribute.

“Several business leaders are currently considering what their investments will be in our riverfront development projects,” said Laurie Baumer, executive vice president of the foundation and coordinator of the riverfront projects. “While these businesses care about our community, they also are struggling with workforce shortages. They see riverfront development as an investment in attracting and retaining talent.”

The Foundation is leading 13 projects along the riverfront from Cherry Hill boat launch near I-496 to the Brenke Fish Ladder near Old Town. The Foundation’s partners include the City of Lansing, the Lansing Entertainment & Public Facilities Authority (LEPFA), and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). The projects are a result of community feedback from the “Penny for Your Thoughts” contest held in 2017, which generated ideas for a vibrant urban core to attract and retain talent in our region.

“The community recognizes the untapped value of our riverfront,” said Dennis Fliehman, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Funding for these projects comes from our Leadership Fund, not our regular grantmaking dollars.”

The Foundation’s riverfront master planning committee includes urban planners and placemaking experts from Michigan State University, as well as leaders from the City of Lansing, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), Michigan Municipal League and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

“A revitalized urban core will enhance economic prosperity,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “LEAP is supportive of the foundation’s leadership role in this placemaking initiative. Ultimately, it will benefit everyone who lives and works throughout the tri-county region.”

The Community Foundation is passionate about creating vibrant, thriving communities throughout the Capital Region. The Foundation works with donors to meet their unique charitable goals, supports area nonprofits with grants and coaching, and leads innovative projects that drive community growth. The Community Foundation (also known as the Capital Region Community Foundation) is a tax-exempt public charity that serves the charitable needs and enhances the quality of life for people in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties.


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