The progress and achievements of Eaton Rapids’ Project Rising Tide will be presented on Monday, Dec. 9 at Eaton Rapids city hall. Heather Nugen, who has served as the project’s community development fellow, will give a presentation about the work done as part of Project Rising Tide. All interested individuals are encouraged to attend.
According to a recent press release, Eaton Rapids’ Project Rising Tide was kicked-off in April of 2018. Created in 2015, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development (now Labor and Economic Opportunity) introduced the program to equip communities with the tools they need to be successful and vibrant. Ten communities, including Eaton Rapids, were chosen as Rising Tide communities based on a series of economic criteria.
As the project’s community development fellow, Nugen has spent the past year in Eaton Rapids.
“I have been so impressed by Eatonian’s commitment to supporting each other and their dedication to building a vibrant, beautiful and thriving city,” Nugen said. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with the community at this critical time.”
Eaton Rapids formed a volunteer steering committee that included councilman Gary Wichman; former Mayor Jamie Davidson; local business owners including Jon and Nate Skinner and Linda Putnam; Lockwood Elementary principle Jason Zeller; property developers and realtors Lynn Ball and Sandy Bristol-Bailey; contractor Kyle Mack; and local banker manager Rus Halsey.
These volunteer stakeholders worked hard and provided critical feedback and guidance on the three projects identified for technical assistance as part of the endeavor. Those projects included a housing study; a downtown master plan; and the identification of, and redevelopment visions for, three key properties in Eaton Rapids.
Other municipal and civic groups involved in Rising Tide engagement include the planning commission, DDA, LDFA, QOL, ZBA, Eaton Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Eaton Rapids Historical Society, Eaton Rapids Area District Library and the Eaton Rapids Rotary Club.
Nugen said communities are best when they are made for people, by the people most impacted by design. She is a longtime user of public transit around the world and has been providing bicycle education and advocacy throughout her career. Heather completed her Master of Community Development at Detroit Mercy in the winter of 2019. She is excited for Eaton Rapids’ bright future.
Monday’s presentation on the Project Rising Tide efforts will take place at Eaton Rapids’ city hall at 7 p.m.

Article submitted by
Eaton Rapids’ Project Rising Tide.