Placemaking in the news: Efforts to raise funds for Capitol Park dog park near deadline

Capitol Park has served a lot of functions over the years, from hosting the state capitol in the mid-1800s to its more recent use as a major bus terminal prior to the construction of the Rosa Parks Transit Center nearby.

Most recently Capitol Park has become one of the fastest developing districts in downtown Detroit, with a flurry of new businesses, residents, and construction crews populating the streets surrounding the historic park. The park itself has seen a redesign over the past 10 years with even more extensive renovations expected to begin next year.

One of those major renovations is the construction of an off-leash dog park, replacing the on-leash park currently there.

"Activating public spaces is key to great placemaking," says Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League.

"Responding to the community’s desire for a dog park in this space is sure to make it a popular destination for residents and visitors."

The Downtown Detroit Partnership has partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help make the improved dog park a reality.

A crowdfunding campaign was launched on Thursday, Sept. 19, as part of the MEDC’s placemaking initiative, Public Spaces Community Places. Should the DDP successfully raise $50,000 by Tuesday, Nov. 19, the MEDC will contribute an additional $50,000 matching grant.

The campaign, which is hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform, is roughly $5,000 shy of its goal as of press time.

Planned improvements for the site include an 1,800-square-foot fenced-in space modeled after the Grand Circus Park dog park, including an airlock gate, landscaping, and more.

"Dog parks like the Capitol Park Off-Leash Dog Park bring residents, neighbors, and visitors together informally, creating a sense of community within their gates," says Lori Mullins, MEDC Director of Community Development Incentives.

"We are pleased to provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program."

Visit the crowdfunding campaign online for more information.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

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