Charlotte’s Pocket Park transformation from a blighted building into a vibrant gathering place gained even more momentum locally and nationally. Last week, CharlotteRising and the City of Charlotte earned a $10,000 Public Art for Communities grant from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Wednesday received $25,000 from Main Street America.

“Building place is a key instrument in economic development,” says Dillon Rush, CharlotteRising executive director. “And with this additional funding, we take another big step forward in cultivating a vibrant and enduring downtown and a place Michiganders want to call home.”

Of the $35,000, $25,000 was awarded to CharlotteRising with a Made on Main Street grant award from OneMain Financial and Main Street America. Charlotte was one of only six communities in the nation to receive this grant.

“While it was difficult to select only six communities, our decisions were based on the ability of local leaders to roll up their sleeves and engage with community members to create long-term economic improvement through a small, creative revitalization project,” says Patrice Frey, National Main Street Center President and CEO.

This $35,000, along with another $10,000 pledged from Tri-County Regional Planning Commission and a financial commitment from the City in its 2018-2019 budget, we are ensuring this will be a community gathering space that can be appreciated and enjoyed for generations to come.

Nearly 40 feet wide and 90 feet deep, the Pocket Park will be full of greenery, placemaking, flexible gathering spaces and more. Some elements may be built by the public as well during a “Community Build” in the late summer—a true testament to the park’s history.

“Community members imagined it, donated to it and helped plan it,” Rush said. “This park and these awards speak to this community’s ability to ‘think it’ and then ‘ink it.’ And we’ll be writing in ink soon.”

Article submitted by CharlotteRising.