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City of Ishpeming Receives $300,000 Michigan Community Center Grant

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City to partner with Partridge Creek Farms on food security, community programming, recreation efforts

ISHPEMING, Mich., March 21, 2024 – The City of Ishpeming today announced it received $300,000 from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s (LEO) Community Center Grants program. The grant program builds on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘Make it in Michigan’ strategy to win projects, invest in people and revitalize places. 

“Community centers anchor thriving communities across Michigan, offering Michiganders places to gather, connect, learn, and access resources,” said Gov. Whitmer when announcing the recipients of the $64 million grant program. “This funding for community centers will help us deliver on our ‘Make it in Michigan’ vision to revitalize cities and towns across Michigan by making them more attractive places to live, work, and invest.” 

Out of nearly 1,000 applications, Ishpeming was one of only 100 cities or organizations to receive funding.

The funds will be used to provide increased food and community-focused programming through a partnership with Partridge Creek Farms (PCF), as well as establish a recreational gathering space including a skate park in the nationally registered historic district/downtown center. The new, highly-desired skate park will attract residents and visitors alike and will include some additional space which allows for gatherings such as an exhibitor fair, equipment demonstrations and other activities.

“This grant helps us further realize our goal of providing superior support and programming to our residents, their families and our workforce, enabling them to thrive and continue to grow together as a community,” said Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini. “We are grateful to the Michigan Community Center Grants program for prioritizing the needs of our city through this $300,000 grant, allowing us to promote needed programming that increases food security and opportunities for recreation in partnership with Partridge Creek Farms.”

Partridge Creek Farms works to reduce Ishpeming’s health disparities through directly addressing the root causes of food insecurity and bringing knowledge, power and tools to the area to grow and prosper. PCF’s vision is of a whole community that grows and eats nutritious, locally and equitably produced food year-round and cares for themselves, Earth and each other. 

This grant will help to support the continued development of the 3.5 acre Partridge Creek Intergenerational Farm and programming in downtown Ishpeming, scale Farm-to-School efforts, foster PCF’s continued stewardship of community gardens (in collaboration with residents and volunteers), and promote access to hands-on experiential learning for all ages. 

“This grant will be critical as Partridge Creek Farms aims to promote food stability efforts and empower Ishpeming residents to develop a more meaningful relationship with their food and each other,” said Partridge Creek Farm Executive Director Sara Johnson. “We are also excited to work with the City of Ishpeming on the creation of a mixed use space that we can utilize for activities and programs that will bring people together.”

The City and PCF continue to raise funds and pursue grant opportunities to benefit residents through impactful programming.

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