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Crowdfunding project launched to complete Ishpeming’s Hematite Art Park

The park is particularly vital to students as school budget restraints led to cutting of their art department.
The park serves as both an arts showcase for local youth and a community centerpiece.
The park serves as both an arts showcase for local youth and a community centerpiece.(Noel Navarro)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 6:24 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Hematite Art Park in Ishpeming was built as a team collaboration by the Marquette County Land Bank Authority and Ishpeming Public Schools -- to which Executive Director Anne Giroux described as revitalizing a once abandoned space in town.

“We’ve basically taken those two vacant lots and transformed them into an art park for the staff and students at the school as well as the community at large to enjoy," Giroux said.

Since its ribbon cutting last November, the park has become both an arts showcase for local youth and a community centerpiece. The former proves vital to students as school budget restraints led to cutting of their art department.

To fund completion of the project, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Marquette County Land Bank announced its crowdfunding campaign Thursday. The goal is to raise $6,000.

“The plan is to put four more arts panels in, around kind of the circular walk that goes through the park. There’s room for two more benches. We need a trash receptacle...and then just some finishing landscaping around the gazebo that the high school students are reconstructing right now," said Giroux.

If the campaign reaches the $6,000 goal by December 15, the project wins a matching grant. And Giroux says that can mean your contribution being doubled by the MEDC.

“You know our outdoor spaces have become even more precious to us during this pandemic. So this is just a really great outdoor space that’s here for the community and we’d really appreciate everyone’s support,” she said.

Giroux said as long as the funding’s in place, we can see completion of Hematite Art Park by Summer 2021.

Information to donate can be found here: Patronicity - Hematite Park

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