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TUESDAY, April 23 — Mayor Andy Schor, Capital Region Community Foundation executives and other donors broke ground today on $2.5 million Rotary Park, which is expected to be completed by fall.
“Rotary Park will be the cool new destination where everyone wants to be,” said Laurie Baumer, executive vice president of the Community Foundation, the park’s major funder and project manager.
The rejuvenated parkland runs from the Shiawassee Street Bridge to the Lansing Center along the Grand River.
“Eateries, kayaking, picnics, festivals and much more will energize the park. It will be another reason residents want to stay here and visitors from other cities and states will want to live and work here,” Baumer said.
The foundation matched $1 million in funding from 11 donors. The Rotary Club of Lansing Foundation was the largest, with $400,000, earning it naming rights.
Other donors were Delta Dental, $250,000; Dewpoint, $100,000; Auto-Owners, $75,000; Red Cedar Investment Management, $40,000; Gillespie Group and Team Lansing Foundation at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, $30,000 each; and four individuals who gave $60,000. Wieland construction company and the Lansing Board of Water & Light are providing inkind donations.
Plans include a lighted forest to the north on the Lansing River Trail as well as the transformation of space behind the Lansing City Market with new furniture, an outdoor fireplace, shade sails and string lighting.
There will also be a new performance venue called “HUB” —for Happening Under the Bridge — to put on small outdoor concerts.
“Design is one of those dorky words urban planners use, but community design is unbelievably important,” Schor said.
“It is making sure the right structures are in the right place so we can attract millennials, seniors and families. Rotary Park is going to help Lansing move forward by creating a new community gathering space that offers new options for entertainment, relaxation and fun for everybody.”