Fall 2021 Grants Awarded
Local students will have access to free after-school programs and tutoring. Locally grown produce will make its way to school meals and to local food pantries. Expanded recreation opportunities will include safer and more accessible outdoor trails.
The Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation is awarding nearly $283,000 in grants as part of its Fall 2021 cycle. A total of 33 grants were recently awarded to organizations serving the people of Emmet County. These grant awards will provide funding for a wide variety of programming and capital improvements for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and municipalities serving Emmet County.
“We are proud to put these grant dollars into our community,” said Jenni Attie, chair of the foundation’s Grant Distribution Committee. “This grant cycle felt very much like a normal cycle, even as we continue to be impacted by the pandemic.”
As part of the overall awards, the foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) recommended $42,500 in grants from the Fund for Youth, after conducting interviews with nine applicants.
Will Goelz, a member of the YAC and a voting member of the board, noted that the YAC was pleased to be able to fully fund all proposals. Goelz added that all YAC members asked insightful questions of applicants and engaged in challenging discussions about their recommendations.
Support for the grant cycle came from a variety of funds held at the Community Foundation including field of interest funds addressing specific area such as senior citizens, health, housing, and natural resources. Support also came from donor advised funds, which are created by individuals and families to carry out their charitable giving.
Attie added that the distribution committee’s work to fund nearly all of the grant requests was made possible thanks to donor advised funds, which contributed nearly one-third of the dollars granted.
These grant awards are made possible through the generosity and support of community-minded individuals. Together we can do more.
ARTS & CULTURE
Blissfest Music Organization
Renovate a key space used for musical performances, workshops and more
Amount granted: $6,500
Blissfest Music Organization (BMO or Blissfest) seeks funds to renovate its Bliss-Stro Dome, one of the outdoor spaces located on its 200-acre festival farm in northern Emmet County. Blissfest owns this property, which is home to an annual music festival and other arts programming. The current Bliss-Stro Dome is a geodesic half-dome on a wooden platform, approximately 10 years old, and needs to be replaced next year due to normal wear and tear. The renovation plans include a wooden structure, a larger stage, and a three-season custom canvas roof to be stored in the winter. The Bliss-Stro Dome is a critical venue for the music festival. On average 36 performances, workshops, and demonstrations happen there. Outside the festival, the Bliss-Stro Dome is used for “Folkscool” workshops—Blissfest’s version of a school of the arts. Additionally, BMO was recently licensed as a seasonal campground, and the Bliss-Stro Dome will host campground programs such as storytelling, songs, ukulele and harmonica lessons, and more. A grant to this project will help cover renovation costs.
Offer art classes to individuals living with disabilities
Amount granted: $7,200
Challenge Mountain is seeking support to purchase a variety of art supplies and equipment to offer art classes to individuals living with disabilities. Prior to the pandemic, Challenge Mountain provided a few art classes after receiving a generous donation of art supplies. Feedback from the children, youth and adults who participated was very positive. As a result, Challenge Mountain committed to re-configuring the lower level of the Lodge to make a dedicated art room. With a fully stocked art room, Challenge Mountain staff and volunteers will provide regular art classes in stained glass, woodworking, drawing/painting and ceramics. These classes will be offered to special education classrooms, adult day care centers and group homes in Emmet and Charlevoix counties.
Crooked Tree Arts Center
Improve audio-visual technology in art gallery space
Amount granted: $12,500
Crooked Tree Arts Center (CTAC) seeks funds to purchase and install an audio-visual (A/V) system for its three main gallery spaces. CTAC offers fine art exhibitions, lectures, tours and special events in its galleries that are free and open to the public. It strives for programming that sparks conversations, broadens perspectives, and builds more creative and collaborative communities for visitors. Currently, there is no permanent sound system in the galleries. Visitors with hearing deficiencies often strain to hear presentations. Additionally, as a result of the pandemic, CTAC has adapted its programming to now provide both in-person and livestream options for patrons. An A/V system will enhance and improve visitor experience, increase engagement with the exhibits and lecture topics, and simplify logistics required for professional livestream presentations. A grant to this project will help cover A/V costs.
Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
Enjoy a performance of Beethoven’s famous “Ode to Joy” 9th Symphony
Amount granted: $7,000
Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra (GLCO) requests funding to help present Beethoven’s 9th Symphony next June 4th in John M. Hall Auditorium in Bay View, rescheduled from 2020 due to the pandemic. This grand piece is one of the most popular selections of classical music, and requires an expanded orchestra, large chorus, and soloists. GLCO artistic director, Libor Ondras, will conduct the orchestra along with a chorus of 75-100 voices and 4 vocal soloists. Joining the GLCO chorus will be choristers from the Northern Michigan Chorale, Little Traverse Choral Society and members of other choirs in the surrounding area and beyond. The final movement, “Ode to Joy” with chorus, is a stunning finale – one that is very familiar to most people. Because Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is so well known and loved, it spans classical music boundaries, reaching music lovers of any age and musical genre. This is a rare opportunity for people to attend a live performance of this magnificent work in their home town, and for local musicians to perform and be a part of this special concert. A grant to this project will help cover concert production costs.
Harbor Springs Area Historical Society
Upgrade outdated technology for improved efficiency
Amount granted: $5,200
This grant will fund an overhaul of Harbor Springs Area Historical Society’s (HSAHS) intranet system – from their hardware to the software that enables growth and ease in programming and administrative operations. The network runs on original hardware from 2008 and similarly outdated software. There is an overall inefficiency in their processes. For example, point-of-sale tablets can no longer operate the Paypal point-of-sale system. Unfortunately, they lost the use of both at the same time in 2020. Per technical consultation, HSAHS has been advised to re-build the antiquated system as a PC environment (vs. current Mac environment), with multi-use equipment to accommodate digital programming and a more compatible, less expensive Windows platform. Additionally, they have enjoyed an increasing amount of registrations and sales via their online shop. Their freeware is no longer adequate to allow for expanded registration options or product offerings. Much of their equipment is from 2008 – 2011, and are an obstacle for compatible processes.
Little Traverse Choral Society
Resume in-person choral performances
Amount granted: $2,000
Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Little Traverse Choral Society (LTCS) will perform two live, in-person performances of choral music in Petoskey and Harbor Springs in December 2021. They will be held on Saturday evening, December 4th at the Petoskey United Methodist Church and Sunday afternoon, December 5th at the First Presbyterian Church of Harbor Springs and will feature a variety of traditional and contemporary holiday favorites. The centerpiece of the program will be “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten. Rehearsals for these concerts began in September with a smaller group of musicians than had been typical for the Choral Society in recent years. A grant to this project will help LTCS cover the costs of their Music Director, accompanist, instrumentalists, concert venue rental, and marketing for these performances.
Little Traverse Civic Theatre
Celebrate 75 years of community theatre with a performance of “Into the Woods”
Amount granted: $3,500
Little Traverse Civic Theatre (LTCT) requests support for its spring musical production of “Into the Woods” which will also be performed in celebration of LTCT’s 75th anniversary. LTCT will be pulling out all the stops to showcase its 75-year commitment to community theatre in Northern Michigan. There will be 7 shows over 2 weekends with a Sunday matinee to maximize options for audiences. LTCT believes that everyone should be able to enjoy and be involved in theatre regardless of experience, income, race, ethnicity, or disability. LTCT welcomes everyone into its productions without having to pay any membership fees, and also works to keep ticket prices affordable for its audiences. A grant to this project will help cover musical production costs.
Raven Hill Discovery Center
Organize school field trips to see the Smithsonian exhibit “Labor Days”
Amount granted: $5,000
In 2019, Raven Hill Discovery Center was named one of ten sites in the United States to collaborate with the Smithsonian Institution on a pilot project to develop a museum exhibit about local work history. The exhibit is called “Labor Days—History, Heritage & STEAM of Work.” It connects local work history with the rich heritage of northern Michigan and its prolific and ongoing culture of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics (STEAM). Raven Hill is organizing field trips for area schools, including grade-level curricular experiences to help students link the history, heritage and science of the work world in northern Michigan. A grant to this project will help cover admission costs for the field trips.
Voices Without Borders
Re-invigorate a youth choral program in northern Michigan
Amount granted: $7,000
Great Lakes Youth Choirs is an organization of three choruses serving young singers ages 5 through the 12th grade. When the pandemic hit, and gathering live was not possible, the choirs decreased to one small chorus. With schools eliminating choral programs, Voices Without Borders determined it could fill this void by offering 3 choirs for different grade levels. A grant to this effort will support the production of the choirs’ spring season. It includes the rehearsals, staffing and need-based student scholarships.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Petoskey
Produce quality concert series for the public
Amount granted: $5,000
Several years ago Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church began offering a public concernt series called “For the Love of Music.” Due to staffing changes and then the onset of the pandemic, they were forced to stop the series. With the community longing for a return of the arts, the church now feels ready to re-start the concert series. A grant to this project will allow Zion Evangelical Luthern Church to advertise and engage the Petoskey area community. The grant will also support compensation for the musicians based on their level of training and the amount of time they put in to their performance. Zion Evangelical Lutheran expects the concert series will help foster a high level of networking and collaboration among local musicians and inspire people of all ages to appreciate and participate in the musical arts regardless of their financial status.
Harbor Light Christian School
Build a community walking track inside the Solid Rock Center
Amount granted: $11,000
Over the years as enrollment at Harbor Light Christian School (HLCS) has increased, the need for more space to accommodate students and serve our community at a greater capacity has increased. A vision for a larger gym, additional classrooms, and community areas was introduced in 2017 and the exploratory process began. Through much research, the project was launched in December 2019. As with many projects during this time, the pandemic played a role in delaying progress, groundbreaking was originally slated for April 2020. In early 2021, the project was able to move forward. Currently, the first phase of the building is near completion and the second phase will focus on building out the inside of the building. The athletic area is to include a walking track which will be open and available to the community. A grant to this project will help purchase materials for the second-floor walking track.
Harbor Springs Public Schools
Reward positive behavior in elementary school with a Silent Disco dance party
Amount granted: $3,000
Shay and Blackbird Elementary Schools use a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program to motivate students to work on their social skills and be good citizens at school. The schools want students to feel responsible for their behavior and take pride in displaying positive behavior. Through the PBIS program, students earn rewards for practicing positive behavior. The rewards are experience-based rather than materialistic. Shay and Blackbird Elementary Schools would like to purchase a Silent Disco set to be used as one of the rewards. A Silent Disco is a system of wireless headphones and other equipment to create a fun dance party experience without significant noise. If students practice positive behavior throughout the month, they will be rewarded with a Silent Disco dance party. Shay and Blackbird would also loan the disco set out to surrounding schools as well as organizations so that the equipment can have a larger impact on the community. A grant to this project will help cover the purchase of a Silent Disco set.
Emmet County Recycling
Improve the directional signage and pavement striping at the Pleasantview Drop-Off Center
Amount granted: $7,200
Emmet County Recycling (ECR) would like to update traffic/directional signage, educational signage and pavement striping at its Pleasantview Drop-off Center. The Drop-off Center has been notoriously difficult for residents to navigate, with many reporting that the facility is intimidating. ECR wants to create an environment that is more welcoming, user-friendly and safer for residents. For example, by providing arrow pavement striping to the shredding cage and to the waste transfer station drive-through bays. Alongside that, ECR would also update its traffic flow signage for easier navigation—which hasn’t been updated since 2010 and has been damaged by winter plowing. Lastly, ECR wants to update and color code the educational signage for bulky materials, compost and mulch, the recycling barn, food scraps, etc. A grant to this project will help cover signage and striping costs.
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Support diversity, equity and inclusion in watershed work
Amount granted: $12,500
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (TOTMWC) protects area lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater through respected advocacy, innovative education, technically sound water quality monitoring, and thorough research and restoration action. TOTMWC’s goal is to do its water protection work in the best possible way, which includes making a greater effort to solicit input, perspectives, and experiences of a broader group of people in the community. To that end, TOTMWC created a task force of staff and board members to develop strategies and action plans for incorporating the core values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) into the organization’s policies, operations, and procedures. During its initial meeting, the task force acknowledged the need for knowledgeable professional assistance to inform and facilitate this work. TOTMWC feels that an experienced consultant will be critical to its long term success to create a culture that is more inclusive and just. A grant to this project will help TOTMWC hire a professional consultant to guide it through DEIJ work.
Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy
Engineer a permanent boat washing station at Jones Landing on Walloon Lake
Amount granted: $10,000
The Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy (WLAC) requests funds for the first phase of a project to install a permanent boat washing station at Jones Landing, located off Gruler Road in Bear Creek Township. Phase 1 (of three) involves drafting a boat wash station site plan, designed to remove Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) from boats, live wells, pumps, and bilges and to reduce the spread of invasives. The plan will include an engineering study to determine the most feasible location for the station, plans for drainage, permitting and increased signage. Recent monitoring of Walloon Lake shows a decline in water quality in the North Arm (Jones Landing locale). A contributing factor is the introduction of AIS which alters the ecological balance of the lake. This affects recreational activity and can have severe economic consequences. Installing a permanent boat wash station will help prevent the spread of AIS and the potential transfer to other lakes. A grant to this project will help cover engineering study costs.
Bay Bluffs—Emmet County Medical Care Facility
Purchase a new bathing tub to be used by our most vulnerable residents
Amount granted: $10,000
Bay Bluffs is an Emmet County-owned medical care facility, providing exceptional care with compassion and dignity for the most vulnerable of our residents. Bay Bluffs is currently working with Emmet County on a potential capital millage, however, the facility has significant equipment needs that cannot wait until a millage is passed. For example, only three of four bathing tubs are currently functioning. Two of these three tubs have been patched and have had parts replaced, but Bay Bluffs will not have access to available parts for much longer. To replace just one tub–and the mechanical lift it requires to safely move residents from their wheelchairs to the tub–is $25,000. Seeing that bathing is one of the most highly requested services, and is enjoyed by most residents, Bay Bluffs seeks to replace one of the tubs before a potential millage is approved. A grant to this project will help Bay Bluffs purchase a new bathing tub for its residents.
Health Department of Northwest Michigan
Increase awareness and consumption of locally-grown produce in Petoskey schools
Amount granted: $15,000
For the last several years, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan has partnered with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and the Public Schools of Petoskey on a ‘Farm to School’ initiative. Thanks to this collaboration, the cafeteria has increased spending on local produce from 23% to 92% of the food service produce budget and now buys from 9+ local farmers. Elementary students have been participating in Try It Tuesday, a monthly tasting in classrooms. There have also been pop-up farmers markets and family events highlighting local produce. Over the next year, the Health Department seeks to build on this momentum with a few additional projects—including greater communications with middle and high school students to better-understand how to enage them on local food consumption, working with Central Elementary on a school garden, and purchasing a ‘blender bike’ to highlight local produce in a fun way. A grant to this project will help cover expenses for these activities.
Bethany Christian Services
Support families in crisis
Amount granted: $8,000
Safe Families for Children (SFFC) is a family strengthening and preservation intervention that works to prevent the long-term separation of parents and children to foster care by wrapping needed supports around a family and providing a short-term host home for the children during a crisis. Participating families are socially isolated and experiencing a temporary crisis such as homelessness, mental health issues or hospitalization, which makes it difficult to meet their children’s needs. The program strengthens families by providing supports from trained volunteers. The parent maintains full legal custody and works with the host family to make decisions for the child. Once the parent’s situation is stabilized, the child and parent are reunited. A grant to this project will help SFFC recruit, vet, and train 10 volunteers to surround 10 Emmet County families in crisis with caring community, including hosting, mentoring, and other resources that provide stability. Funding will also provide for outreach to churches and community organizations.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan
Increase staff to support youth mentorship opportunities
Amount granted: $15,000
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For 50+ years, BBBS has operated in five counties in northwestern Michigan with its regional offices in Traverse City. While fundraising efforts in Traverse City are met with exceptional success, the same is not the case in Emmet County. BBBS employs one full–time Mentoring Specialist who develops and monitors each mentorship in our area, leaving little to no time for local fundraising efforts. Given that, BBBS seeks to expand its Emmet County staff to include a fundraising professional. A grant to this project will help launch this new position.
Community Recovery Alliance
Encourage recovery-friendly workplaces in our community
Amount granted: $10,000
Community Recovery Alliance (CRA) serves as a resource for individuals and families impacted by substance use disorders (SUD), including drug and alcohol addictions. Its overall goal is to help those in recovery rebuild self-esteem and self-sustainability while they re-integrate within the community. CRA has identified the need to develop a Recovery Friendly Workplace Toolkit to share with area employers. This practical toolkit will provide information on how to create a workplace environment that is conducive to the recovery journey, and further reduce the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. A grant to this project will help cover toolkit research, design and printing costs.
Cross of Christ Lutheran Church
Provide basic household items to people in need
Amount granted: $8,000
Cross of Christ Lutheran Church operates the only paper pantry in our area. The program was started by a woman in the congregation who had witnessed many folks struggling to purchase personal products while in jail. In talking with people using local food pantries, a desire for access to toilet paper was expressed. With donations from the community, Cross of Christ Lutheran Church purchase soaps (laundry, kitchen, hand), toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, shampoo, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brushes, feminine hygiene products, trash bags, cleaning supplies and other items that the community donates such as razors and shaving cream. A grant to this project will help Cross of Christ Lutheran Church purchase staples for its paper pantry.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church – Northmen Den Youth Pantries
Offer after-school tutoring to students served by youth pantries
Amount granted: $12,000
Since 2016, the Northmen Den Youth Pantries volunteers have observed that nutrition isn’t the only way our students have fallen behind their peers. Food insecurity represents a barrier for these students to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. This fall, a free after-school tutoring program, called AIM Tutoring (Academically Instructional Mentoring) is opening at the Carnegie Building to help bridge this academic, social, and emotional gap. Students from low socio-economic status (SES) families make up 34% of the Petoskey & Harbor Springs 6th-12th graders. Children from SES households enter high school with average literacy skills five years behind their higher-income peers, which affects them significantly. When students miss developing crucial foundational skills, they can cascade through subsequent learning tasks worsening the gap between them and their grade-level peers. A grant to this project will allow Northmen Den to hire tutors to help close this gap.
Fast Help Foundation
Provide direct assistance to individuals in need
Amount granted: $5,800
Fast Help Foundation was created in 2011 by Dori Steckley to honor her late parents. The foundation provides small, instant grants to local people who have suffered a life altering, catastrophic event. One way Fast Help Foundation supports individuals is through vouchers to the Gold Mine Resale Stores. These vouchers allow staff to select individuals who may need assistance purchasing items at the store. Another key program of Fast Help Foundation is to provide a “Christmas Surprise” for a person who has fallen behind on their utility payment with the City of Petoskey. A grant to this project will allow Fast Help Foundation to provide 9 monthly $100 vouchers to both Gold Mine Resale stores and New Beginnings Resale Store, and to provide two “Christmas Surprise” utility payments for utility customers of the City of Petoskey.
Manna Food Project
Offer locally grown produce and protein in local food pantries
Amount granted: $10,000
The mission of the Manna Food Project (Manna) is to feed the hungry throughout Northern Michigan. It operates a food rescue program, a food distribution center, a weekly food pantry, and the “Food 4 Kids” backpack program. Manna works with 40+ partner agencies to provide supplemental food to over 42,000 families in Antrim, Charlevoix and Emmet Counties. Many Americans eat highly-processed or fast foods which are high in calories but contain very few health nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. The clients Manna serves are typically families struggling to make ends meet, frequently having to chose between paying their utility bills or spending more on nutritious foods for their families. Unfortunately, more nutritious foods are often more expensive than highly processed, fast foods. So Manna strives to provide high quality, nutritious food to its pantry clients and partner agencies by purchasing locally grown produce and, when possible, local lean protein. A grant to this project will support the purchase of high-quality produce and protein for distribution to Manna’s Emmet County clients and partner agencies.
Northern Homes Community Development Corporation
Research solutions to develop missing middle housing
Amount granted: $5,000
Northern Homes CDC is a non-profit organization that develops housing for the local workforce, disabled and seniors. In communities across the country, there is a mismatch between the available housing stock and the housing residents need. These housing types are often higher density than typical single family homes. Northern Homes CDC aims to conduct a feasibility study and research condominium development as a potential solution to build two workforce housing developments. A grant to this project will allow Northern Homes CDC to engage a real estate attorney to explore the feasibility of building missing middle housing that will be preserved for local residents
Northern Michigan Equine Therapy
Support expansion of HorseSense equine-based therapy
Amount granted: $7,500
Since March 2020, Northern Michigan Equine Therapy (NMET) has received an increase in requests for mental health services utilizing their equine-based therapeutic work. The organization recognizes the need for these resources are greater than ever. During these trying times, their HorseSense program sessions have proven to be an important support tool for our community. Since 2013, NMET founder Courtney Sumpter has been developing her curriculum as part of a pilot program to address the needs of her community. A grant to this project would allow NMET to continue to develop educational materials, offer scholarships across all three tiers of programming, and outsource necessary legal resources to trademark and license the program under Northern Michigan Equine Therapy.
Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity
Build a new affordable home on Lantern Lane
Amount granted: $15,000
Northwest Michigan Habitat for Humanity’s (NMHFH) focus is on increasing their capacity to meet the crisis level demand for affordable housing. To help accomplish this, NMHFH launched its new Home Ready Program designed to more quickly meet affordable housing needs, serving below-median income, mortgage-ready households. Since implementation, even in the midst of a pandemic, the organization constructed 6 new homes and rehabilitated a home that was uninhabitable. These seven homes resulted in the retention of 11 hard-working professionals and a brighter future for 15 children. NMHFH is currently breaking ground on three more homes, with big plans over the next few years. To support completion of one of these new homes located in Alanson, NMHFH requests $15,000 to support an estimated $198,000 in project costs.
The Bergmann Center
Provide safe transportation for people with mental and physical challenges
Amount granted: $7,000
The Bergmann Center helps people with mental and physical challenges to become active, involved members of the community. It provides job training and life skills instruction to approximately 65 clients spanning three counties. Bergmann Center recently received approval from the State of Michigan to offer apprenticeships to its clients. Many local employers look to the Center for help in filling entry-level positions within their companies. To participate in an apprenticeship or other Bergmann Center programming , one third of its clients rely on the Bergmann Center for transportation from Emmet County. Unfortunately the only vehicle which has wheel-chair lift capabilities is now inoperable. Bergmann Center would like to purchase another van with these capabilities in order to continue serving its Emmet County clients that are wheel-chair dependent. A grant to this project will support the purchase of a new vehicle.
The Salvation Army
Provide scholarships for children to enroll in an afterschool program
Amount granted: $15,000
The Salvation Army provides many programs and services to support low-income families in our area, including an afterschool program for 20-25 children. After arriving at the Salvation Army center, children are given a nutritious snack at 4:00 PM. Then children who have homework get started in a quiet area while the others begin the daily activity. Activities examples are: “Messy Mondays” crafts, weekly character building activities, outdoor plays, field trips, community service projects, movies, games and more. The character building activities teach lessons and life skills such as cooking, sewing, safety, plant study, auto maintenance, gardening and more. Children earn badges for each learned skill. While homework takes priority over in-center activities, it does not hold children back from going on any outings. Homework help is available for those who need it and Wi-Fi is provided for those with digital homework needs. A grant to this project will provide full scholarships for the children so they may attend the afterschool program for free.
Upgrade Camp Daggett Adventure Center’s (CDAC) challenge course elements
Amount granted: $4,400
For Camp Daggett to continue to offer the state of the art programming at the Camp Daggett Adventure Center it is necessary to make modifications and upgrades to maintain their program certification for their Challenge Course Elements. To maintain certification, this work must be done by a contractor that is licensed to do this type of work. In addition to maintaining certification, this work will assure the safety of participants and staff for many years to come. A grant to this project will allow Camp Dagget Adventure Center to purchase and install new equipment in its outdoor challenge course.
Little Traverse Conservancy
Build barrier free trails and a more accessible Offield Family Viewlands Reserve
Amount granted: $10,000
Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) owns and manages over 22,000 acres of natural lands that are open to the public for non-motorized recreation. Nearly 80 miles of trail are maintained to encourage people to get outside and experience nature. LTC’s lands are open to all people, but that doesn’t mean that all people are able to freely utilize all trails. For people with disabilities there exist many barriers to spending time in nature. LTC seeks to address some of these barriers with a trail enhancement project at the Offield Family Viewlands Reserve. The Viewlands Reserve is a former golf course that is being converted back to a natural area. Existing trails here are convenient, wide-paved paths, but they were not designed to be hiking loops and need connecting paths. With Community Foundation Support, LTC will create a trail loop consisting of a durable barrier free trail surface and provide more and improved opportunities for all people to be in and move through nature.
Top of Michigan Trails Council
Improve user etiquette on the Little Traverse Wheelway
Amount granted: $15,000
With increased trail use generally, and particularly increased use of e-bikes on the Little Traverse Wheelway, one of the biggest concerns reported to Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) is safety on the trail. Most often TOMTC hears about speed – whether it is people buzzing past or stopping mid trail to look at something – and the safety issues this causes on the Wheelway. The sharp increase in e-bikes is also a factor in real (and perceived) safety concerns, as are other forms of “motorized” transport such as Solowheels, scooters, and others that are likely illegal under state laws for non-motorized trails. Working with the City of Petoskey, TOMTC hopes to address these issues by increasing signage along the Wheelway, providing trail etiquette education to users who bring their own recreational toys, and also to shops that rent bikes. This multilevel approach will help ensure that all Wheelway users receive similar information to make a more enjoyable trail experience for all. A grant to this project will cover design and production of trail etiquette materials.
YMCA of Northern Michigan
Restart recreational programs for area youth
Amount granted: $5,500
Historically, YMCA of Northern Michigan has had a robust schedule of enrichment programs, from art to martial arts. All of those programs went on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Y has been able to restart its core child care programs, it has yet to restart its auxiliary programs—such as Y Winners Basketball, Sports and Games, Art, Martial Arts and STEM programming. The Y seeks grant funding to help resume these programs with competitive wages and high quality supplies. It hopes to restart or start 3 – 5 auxiliary programs during the 2021-2022 school year. Ideally, each program will serve at least 10 children for a minimum of a 6 week session. A grant to this project will help cover staffing and supply costs for these programs.