Students hope to raise funds to build 18-hole miniature golf course in North End

Public Spaces Community Places, the statewide placemaking initiative funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), has set its sights on seven vacant lots in the North End neighborhood of Detroit.

It's there, just north of the New Center area, that a neighborhood youth patrol group called 4Ward Phoenix is hoping build what would be the city's only 18-hole miniature golf course. The group is trying to raise $5,000 through a crowdfunding campaign. Should that group successfully reach its target sum by Jan. 16, MEDC and MSHDA will provide a $5,000 matching grant.

The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

"This Mini-Golf is important to our 4Ward Phoenix youth," says group organizer Phillis Judkins. "Students are creating this putt-putt to implement their professional skills from their classes. Crowdfunding is a great display of the faith and support individuals have for their specific goals. The most powerful tool is to know that someone is interested in your success by donating towards your cause. Engagement for local families, businesses, and organizations is just one of the many thing this miniature golf will support. And for the students, having an entire community behind them, donating to their success is empowering and irreplaceable."

The money raised will complement the more than $275,000 that has already been secured for the project. Plans include the 18-hole miniature golf course, green space, fencing, solar-powered lighting, benches, landscaping, and off-street parking.

[For more on the North End, check out this Model D story on the neighborhood's bright future]

4Ward Phoenix is the youth group of the North End Neighborhood Patrol. The students have taken part in a number of lessons to ready themselves to run a small business, including marketing, banking, and neighborhood outreach. They hope to open the 4ward Phoenix Miniature Golf center by March 2017.

Click here to view the status of the crowdfunding campaign.

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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