Community Reinvestment Fund



Mid-MEAC logoThe Community Reinvestment Fund was established as part of the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability to ensure that traditionally underserved and marginalized populations have the opportunity to get involved in the planning process at all levels of government. The Fund is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Sustainable Communities program to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as part of the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability. 

The Fund is administered by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council and has an oversight board of ten members. The Community Reinvestment Fund provides opportunities for nonprofit organizations in the tri-county area (Clinton, Eaton & Ingham counties) to engage traditionally underserved and marginalized populations in planning at all levels of government. 

Contact for this project:

Community Reinvestment Fund Grantees

Project Name:  Urbandale Plans Itself

Project Status:  Project Completed

Project Summary:  Allen Neighborhood Center was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with the Urbandale neighborhood to create an association and include the area into the City of Lansing's Master Plan. 

Project Outcome:  The Urbandale Plans Itself Project engaged 189 individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations in planning initiatives for the Urbandale Neighborhood.  These individuals included 20 female heads of household, 25 households below area the poverty line, 25 households below the federal poverty line, 40 minorities (Non-Caucasian), one elderly person aged 65-84, one person with disabilities, two small business owners, and 75 college students.  

Project Contact Information:

Joan Nelson, Executive Director

joann@allenneighborhoodcenter.org

(517) 367-2468

Project Name:  Parents As Leaders Project

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Capital Area Community Services was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with the Head Start Parents As Leaders program which engages the parents of Head Start children in leadership roles that bridge the gap from early childhood to K-12 learning environments.

Project Outcome: The Parents as Leaders Project worked with 139 female heads of household, all of which fell below the federal poverty line. Through the course of the project, parents responses were overwhelmingly positive that they had been taught more about their children’s Head Start programs and were able to give more of their own input about the program through the process.

Project Contact Information:

Linda VanLake, Program Governance Manager

linda.vanlake@cacsheadstart.org

(517) 393-1409

Project Name: Annie's Big Nature Lesson

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Fenner Nature Center was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage K-12 students in environmental education and planning through Annie's Big Nature Lesson.

Project Update: The Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson (ABNL) engaged 158 individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations throughout the project period, engaging them in valuable outdoor education programming.  These populations included 158 students grades K-12, all from the Lansing School District that is traditionally underrepresented in science and has 78% of its students receiving free or reduced meals. Additionally, Fenner engaged the Fenner Conservancy Board and the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative--GRAND Learning Network by giving presentations about the project as well as conducting water quality testing and invasive species removal. 

Project Contact Information:

Jason Meyer, Executive Director

jason@mynaturecenter.org

(517) 483-4224

Project Name:  Robert Busby Memorial Park Project

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary:  Old Town Commercial Association was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to create a park plan for the Robert Busby Memorial Park by engaging local residents and business owners in the "Busby Method" of community outreach.

Project Outcome:  The Robert Busby Memorial Project served 114 total individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations, including 26 female heads of household, four households at or below area poverty lines, 12 LGBTQ individuals, 35 minorities (Non-Caucasian), 14 elderly persons aged 65-84, 16 small business owners, and seven students grades K-12.  These populations were brought together to plan the Robert Busby Memorial in Old Town as a way to both remember an influential individual and continue the process of rehabilitating the Old Town Lansing neighborhood.

Project Contact Information:

Louise Gradwohl, Executive Director

louise@oldtownmainstreet.org   

(517) 485-4283

Project Name: Newcomer EASE Project

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Refugee Development Center was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to create a positive learning environment for refugee children, exposing students to government planning opportunities and supporting families as they engage in local neighborhood associations, school boards and community leadership roles.

Project Outcome:  Throughout the course of the Newcomer EASE Project, 315 students grades K-12 have been engaged from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations.   All of these students are persons for whom English is a second language and who are refugees, immigrants, or and/or new citizens.  The Refugee Development Center engaged with 45 Lansing School District Staff on Oct. 2, 2013, 17 employees at Summerplace Management on Oct. 9, 2013, and 26 employees at RDC Leadership on Oct. 16, 2013, all of which focused on community engagement about student conclusions from the program.  

Project Contact Inforamation:

Shirin Timms, Director

stimms@rdclansing.org   

(517) 253-8025

Project Summary:  Fenner Nature Center was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage K-12 students in environmental education and planning through Annie's Big Nature Lesson.

Project Name:  Annie's Big Nature Lesson

Project Period:   November 1, 2012 - October 31, 2013

Grant Amount:  $5.000.00

Project Outcome:  The Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson (ABNL) engaged 158 individuals from traditionally underserved and marginalized populations throughout the project period, engaging them in valuable outdoor education programming.  These populations included 158 students grades K-12, all from the Lansing School District that is traditionally underrepresented in science and has 78% of its students receiving free or reduced meals.  Additionally, Fenner engaged the Fenner Conservancy Board, the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative--GRAND Learning Network by giving presentations about the project as well as conducting water quality testing and invasive species removal. 

For more information about this project and/or the grantee, please contact:

Jason Meyer, Executive Director

jason@mynaturecenter.org

(517)483-4224

Fenner Nature Center

2020 East Mount Hope Avenue

Lansing, MI 48910

Project Name:  Municipal Finance for All

Project Status:  Completed

Project Summary:  South Lansing Community Development Association was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to present a series of workshops on municipal budgeting, featuring local experts and an interactive format. 

Project Update:  The Municipal Finance for All Project successfully engaged 218 individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations in the municipal budgeting process.  These included 32 female heads of household, 137 households at or below the median area poverty line, 106 households below federal the federal poverty line, 82 minorities (Non-Caucasian), 169 elderly persons aged 65-84, one eldest old person over the age of 85, 11 persons with disabilities, 49 small business owners, one college student and 11 veterans.  Interactive presentations were given to Lansing Neighborhood Associations and Senior Groups to educate targeted populations on city budget decisions. Participants were encouraged to attend a number of City of Lansing City Council Budget Hearings.

Project Contact Information:

Kathie Dunbar, Executive Director

kathie@southlansing.org

(517) 374-5700

Project Name:  Gateway Public Art Project

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary:  Westside Commercial Association was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to create a "sense of place" for Lansing's Westside, develop a feasible plan for a gateway project at Lansing's west entrance and engage residents and business owners in planning.

Project Outcome:  Throughout the Gateway Public Art Project, 74 individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations were engaged to help plan and implement public art projects in the Lansing’s West Side. These individuals included five female heads of household, 15 households below the area poverty line, ten households below the federal poverty line, ten LGBTQ individuals, 18 minorities (Non-Caucasian), 27 small business owners, five college students, three students grades K-12, and seven veterans.  

Project Contact Information:

Lisa Benck, President

benck.lisa@gmail.com

(517) 648-0366

Project Name:  JAG Beautification Project

Project Status:  Completed

Project Summary:  Eaton County United Way  was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant for student leaders, in partnership with the village of Potterville, to develop a community beautification plan for Potterville, obtain municipal approval and implement the plan.

Project Outcome:  Eight students from the Potterville Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program designed and implemented a community beautification project. Students identified areas in their community that required improvements, such as the local baseball diamond and presented a plan to make these improvements to the City of Potterville Parks Committee and Planning Commission. Once approved, the students made the improvements. Six of the students attended a national JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) program conference and discussed their experience with other JAG students.  Overall, eight individuals from traditionally under-served/marginalized populations were engaged with the project fitting 19 different demographic groups.

Project Contact Information:

Joni Risner, Executive Director

joni@ecuw.org

(517) 541-5402

Project Name:  East Lansing Seniors Housing Plan

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary:  Friends of the East Lansing Seniors' Program was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to develop a comprehensive housing plan specifically around the needs of seniors and older adults. Work was completed collaboratively with Michigan State University to engage faculty, staff, and alumni in the planning process and incorporate findings into a comprehensive plan.

Project Outcome: The Friends of East Lansing Seniors Program received surveys from 2,485 East Lansing resident’s ages 51 and older. 1,972 of the individuals who responded also fall into one or more traditionally under-served and/or marginalized populations.  Two community forums were held to engage East Lansing seniors directly in the planning process. Preliminary survey data was shared and participants were asked to share additional information and their housing needs/preferences. Although attendance at these meetings were lower than expected, the outstanding response rate to the survey balanced it out. A group of Seniors that have been extremely engaged in the entire project has presented to the East Lansing City Council. The entire survey report has been shared with City of East Lansing planning staff, interested developers, resident stakeholders as well as members of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committees. Detailed data results have been presented at two Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee meetings; East Lansing Human Dignity, Community Education and Civic Participation Steering Committee and the Housing Steering Committee.

Project Contact Information:

EJ Buss, President, Friends of the East Lansing Seniors Board

EJBuss@aol.com

James Coty, Vice President, Friends of the East Lansing Seniors Board 

jamescoty@msn.com

(517) 337-1113

Project Name: 

Community Conversation with Residents of Hawk’s Ridge on Life and Health of Park Lake


Project Status:  Completed

Project Summary: The Friends of Park Lake Project was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with community residents and the Township Board to create a sustainable plan for the health of Park Lake. 

Project Outcome: Friends of Park Lake engaged 71 residents of Hawk’s Ridge, an income based apartment complex in Park Lake, in community planning. Planning focused around Park Lake, including assessing issues with the lake and created an improvement plan. Residents met with Bath Township Parks & Recreation and the Park Lake advisory board to discuss their plan. One participant in the project was recently elected as a Chairperson of the Bath Township Senior Citizens Advisory Council.

Project Contact Information:

Nola Parkey, President

theparkeys1@wowway.com

(517) 641-6407

Project Name: Lilac Garden Re-Engagement Project

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The Greater Lansing Food Bank was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to revitalize the Lilac Community Garden as a tool for community engagement in the Red Cedar Neighborhood of East Lansing. 

Project Outcome: The Greater Lansing Food Bank engaged 84 traditionally under-served and/or marginalized individuals in planning through a revitalization of the neglected Lilac Community Garden. Participants included low income individuals, immigrants and college students. These participants, called Lilac Garden Leaders worked with GLFB, The Red Cedar Neighborhood Association, the City of East Lansing and the Community Relations Coalition throughout the process to promote community gardening, redevelopment and learn about the planning process.

Project Contact Information:

Joe Wald, Executive Director

joe@greaterlansingfoodbank.org

(517) 853-7803

Additional Email: julie@greaterlansingfoodbank.org   

Project Name: Step by Step Master Plan

Project Period: In Progress

Project Summary: The  Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital developed a non-motorized plan for the City of Charlotte, focusing on the needs of persons with disabilities and mobility challenges in their Community Reinvestment Fund project. 

Project Update: The Step by Step Master Plan successfully engaged 44 individuals with disabilities in actual planning exercises to create a comprehensive non-motorized transportation plan for the City of Charlotte that specifically includes a section for people with disabilities. The non-motorized plan was presented to the Charlotte City Council on October 1, 2013. A copy of the plan can be viewed here.

Project Contact Information: 

Dr. Patrick Sustrich, Director of Health and Wellness Services

(517) 541-1969

Project Name: URPSA's Grand River Student Connection

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The MSU-Urban & Regional Planning Student Association used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage students, faculty and staff in regional planning charrettes along the Grand River/Michigan Avenue Corridor, creating relationships between campus and community.

Project Outcome:  The Shaping a Greater Grand River Conference was hosted on October 5th, 2013 at Michigan State University. The turnout was as planned and the conference successfully engaged students in planning for a more sustainable Grand River Avenue. URPSA has successfully identified and promoted 19 different internship opportunities for students in 2014. Outreach to other student organizations to gain support for the project. Work continues to build solid, lasting partnerships with other student organizations to gain support for project. In the first quarter of 2014, URPSA will focus on building a strategy for continuation of the project on campus once Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability Funding ends.

A portion of their original funds remained unspent at the end of the project period. URPSA is submitting a new work plan that will extend their project through the summer and allow them to continue engaging college students and the community in planning.

Project Contact Information:

Wendy Caldwell, URPSA President

caldwll2@msu.edu

Project Name: Teen Open Studio Community Art Projects

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The REACH Studio Art Center used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage Lansing area youth in creating a community sculpture made from recycled materials, fostering both creative and supportive mentorships in the process.

Project Outcome:  A final report for the Teen Open Studio Community Art Projects has been submitted, providing 192 individuals from traditionally under-served and marginalized populations, including 60 female heads of household, 55 households at or below area median poverty lines, 55 households at or below the federal poverty lines, 20 minorities (Non-Caucasian), two persons with disabilities, 18 college students, and 42 students grades K-12.  48 at-risk youth were provided 128+ hours of programming and civic engagement projects, receiving 18 college-aged mentors in 483 hours of donated time, and featuring ten guest artists (one contracted through the grant) in 188+ hours working with youth.  The high point of the project has been the preparation for installing the Bottle Rocket near Impression 5 Science Center and the River Trail. Additionally, students created a website for artwork proposals and short documentary film about the project. 

Project Contact Information:

Alice Brinkman, REACH Executive Director

alice@reachstudioart.org   

(517) 999-3643

Project Name: Hunter Park East

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The Allen Neighborhood Council's second grant with the Community Reinvestment Fund was used to create a park user/neighbor coalition among the City of Lansing, Boys and Girls Club, Ingham County Land Bank, City Parks and Recreation, and Allen Neighborhood Center (ANC) to work on a) developing further plans for Hunter Park, b) further integration of ANC GardenHouse programs more fully into the surrounding neighborhood on Clifford Street, and c) review major land use and infrastructure changes anticipated in this neighborhood. This group will then be available for future planning with the city.

Project Outcome: The Allen Neighborhood Center’s Hunter Park East project has been working with the low income residents of Hunter Park Residential Organization that also include minorities, elderly persons, young professionals, and college students.  A Hunter Park Programming Council, User’s Council, and an Outreach Team have each held at least two meetings since being awarded the grant.  The Programmer's Council has exchanged information about program plans and park use conflicts, the User’s Council has established recommendations for a comprehensive park plan, and the Outreach Team has done significant door-to-door canvassing.  A set of recommendations prepared by Rick Kibbey have been  presented: the first two to H.E.R.O.  in January, the second to the ANC seniors group in late March, the third with Rep. Tom Cochran at his coffee hour on April 7, and the fourth on April 21 at the Mason City Hall to share survey responses from the survey being developed and published in relation to the forums with over 80 respondents to date.   Finally, the Allen Neighborhood Council has, with Mid-MEAC approval, made two changes to their work plan.  First, ANC has decided to use web ads instead of radio ads to promote their forums and surveys, which will run throughout April.  Secondly, ANC has decided to collaborate with area groups to host forums through their existing meeting schedules, as opposed to hosting alone to draw more of the targeted audience their project seeks to reach.

Project Contact Information:

Joan Nelson, Executive Director

joann@allenneighborhoodcenter.org

(517) 367-2468

Project Name: The Eaton Empowered Leadership Track

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The Eaton County United Way (ECUW), in partnership with the Eaton Great Start Collaborative (EGSC), was awarded a Community Reinvestment Fund grant to connect and recruit local residents of either female head of household, Hispanic and Non-Hispanic groups to create a series of leadership programs which will give participating clients the skills and tools to build confidence and empower them to advocate for local human resources and equal opportunities.

Project Outcome: Eaton County United Way has been working with three minorities to become part of the Head Start Policy Council, recruiting the help of three Hispanic and bilingual women to assist in this process as well as planning for the upcoming summer season and the coming seasonal workers.  Additionally, The Bilingual Toddler Time Group met on March 7th once again. The Charlotte Bilingual Toddler Time began in May. The next expansion of the program is being planned for Grand Ledge. The teachers and staff continue to work with the families and gain their wants and needs to grow their engagement in local and state councils while at Head Start and for groups such as PTO/PTA in their local school districts as they enter K-12 system. Eaton County United Way will continue to work together to assist the facilitation/planning with these families.

Project Contact Information:

Joni Risner, Executive Director

joni@ecuw.org 

Kimi Mead, Eaton Great Start Parent Coordinator

kmead@eatonresa.org

Project Name: Senior Voices

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Elder Law of Michigan used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to develop advocacy training that engages individuals aged 65 and older (seniors) with the local planning process.  The training focused on educating seniors on three components: (1) advocacy, (2) housing and transportation concepts and issues, and (3) local planning.

Project Update: Elder Law has finalized a training flyer and executed the marketing plan that included outreach to senior centers in the Tri-County area and specific senior programs like RSVP and Prime Time Senior’s Program. Training participants have the option of registering via email or by calling Alexis Ringman.  Elder Law is on track to hold the Senior Voices training on May 5th from 10:00 AM to Noon.  It will be continuing outreach and compiling training packets through April in preparation for the May training.  Any assistance in continuing reaching out to Tri-county area seniors 65 and older to participate in Senior Voices is greatly appreciated.

Project Contact Information:

Alexis Ringman, Project Administrator

aringman@elderlawofmi.org

(517) 853-2375

Project Name: Eaton county Parks Policies-Public Input

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: The Friends of Eaton County Parks has partnered with the Eaton County Parks Department for its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to expand and improve a Five Year planning process for the stewardship and utilization the management of nine County Parks to include the needs of under-served and marginalized populations within the County and Tri-County region.

Project Update: The fourth and final Focus Group was held on March 27th which was initially snowed out due to the last snow storm. A draft of the 5 year plan will now be completed and a hearing will be scheduled for consideration to the Eaton County Commission.  Additional traditionally under-served and marginalized populations have been identified as well.

Project Contact Information:

Kelly Lusis, Friends of Eaton County Parks President

(517) 242-1327

Project Name: Choose Your World

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Haven House used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage its current, former and prospective future clients with dialogue sessions supplemented with culturally sensitive documents to promote understanding of and engagement in the process of community and civic decision- and policy-making.  This includes participation and leadership on school boards, parent associations, government and non-profit boards, and other institutions.  These sessions included home visits to low and very low income families, work with currently homeless families (70% are single female headed households), and a public forum to include these populations as well as minority families and families including individuals with disabilities in a broader community dialogue context.

Project Update: Haven House has continued to present the Choose Your World that seeks to serve low-very low income families, homeless families, single-female headed households, and disabled individuals to their clients.  Big strides have been made by incorporating volunteer interns and staff into the outreach process, presenting low income parents with ways to become involved in the public sphere, and presenting materials at their homeless shelter and recently housed clients.  Haven House has completed the primary goal of the project and are now working on following up with participants to continue to promote engaging in their communities.  Haven House Volunteer Coordinator Leah Weidner will be working with Paul Schmidt of UnoDeuce Media to schedule and film a highlight video of the Choose Your World Project.

Project Contact Information:

Angela Mayeaux, Executive Director

amayeaux@havenhouseel.org

Gabe Biber, Development Director

gbiber@havenhouseel.org

(517) 337-2731

Project Name: Mid-Michigan Time Bank's Time for Community Planning

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Mid-Michigan Time Bank (MMTB) used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to create incentives and facilitate community planning participation using its local currency backed in hours (Time Dollars/T.D.), specifically targeting communities with high populations of underserved groups. Participation was incentivized by rewarding planning time commitment with T.D.s (1 T.D. = 1 hour) to be later exchanged for services offered by other MMTB members. Participation was  facilitated by those provided services like transportation, childcare, and workshops on running for planning board positions by experienced local officials. Under-served populations were reached through a targeted 22 week canvass operation, neighborhood group community meetings, and public access announcements.

Project Update: The Mid-Michigan Time Bank/ Lansing Neighborhood Council’s Time for Community Planning project has developed a goal to work with six neighborhood groups and fifty people over a twelve-month period.  under-served populations of focus include low and extremely low income households, elderly (65+) persons, and college students.  Currently, the project has  worked with two of six planned target neighborhood groups, the North Town Neighborhood Board and the Genessee Neighborhood Co-housing Group and  has engaged over  one fifth of its stated goal of fifty people in public planning positions.  These include one person who joined the North Town Neighborhood Board, four people working to take a proposal to the city to have resident maintained and funded trash cans along grand river in North Town, and five people working with the park department to plant a public fruit grove in Bancroft Park in North Town.  Most recently, the Mid-Michigan Time Bank worked with the Downtown neighborhood association to to do outreach.  The group also  secured a PSA directed toward students on Impact 89fm and began a partnership with the Genessee Neighborhood Co-housing Group to do outreach in their neighborhood. A struggle that we had was continued cold weather delaying door-to-door canvassing. And one of our main coordinators being sick with pneumonia for three weeks.

Project Contact Information:

Edge Brussel, Mid-Michigan Time Bank

midmichigantimebank@gmail.com 

(517) 862-0422

Project Name: The Newcomer C.L.A.S.S.

Project Status: Completed

Project Summary: Lansing's Refugee Development Center used this grant with the Community Reinvestment Fund to both educate and engage young refugees from the Greater Lansing Area in being a greater part of the community through participation in community involvement sessions and participation in a youth soccer league through the Lansing Soccer Club.  This project has since been complemented by another grant to the Refugee Development Center in our fourth round of grants.

Project Update: Newcomer youth are working on identifying a policy/neighborhood issue and crafting recommendations for consideration which will soon be presented to RDC administration, Lansing School District officials, and Summer Place Townhomes Management.  Additionally, RDC is currently helping prepare LSC families for the outdoor soccer season. This includes assisting with team and player registrations and scholarship for those in need of financial assistance. We are also making plans to prepare the fields and purchase necessary equipment (balls, nets etc.) so the Club is prepared for spring.  The spring LSC schedule can be found here.  Additionally, a  targeted intervention was conducted with one player who was struggling at home. The RDC coordinated this intervention with the child’s school and parents which resulted in a successful outcome as defined by the parent and youth (both were able to come to an agreement relative to responsibilities and associated privileges).

Project Contact Information:

Shirin Timms, Director

stimms@rdclansing.org

(517) 482-2252

Project Name: Parents as Leaders

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The CACS used this Community Reinvestment Fund grant to assist families below the federal and/or local poverty lines in how to become more involved in their children's school Head Start Programs. In addition to teaching the governance of Head Start, the project seeks to engage parents in community event planning as well.

Project Update: The Capital Area Community Services grant has the first task starting August of 2014.

Project Contact Information: 

Ivan W. Love, Jr., Executive Director

(517) 482-6281 ext. 103

Project Name: Eaton Good Food

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Eaton County United Way Eat Good Food Program used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage senior citizens, low-income individuals, veterans, and college/K-12 students to voice their opinions on local food systems through five focus groups. Ultimately, the findings of these focus groups will help develop a Local Food Supply Plan.

Project Update: The Eaton Good Food Council has completed all five of its planned focus groups, and a draft of the final report has been developed and shared with project coordinators.  This final report was discussed and reviewed on Monday April 14th.  The finalized version of the project report will be completed by the end of April. A final budget will accompany the finalized version of the project report.

Project Contact Information:

Joni Risner, Executive Director

joni@ecuw.org

Shelli Smith

ssmith@bedhd.org

(517) 543-5402

Project Name: Destination Downtown Lansing

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Greater Lansing Destination Development Foundation's Destination Downtown Lansing Project used its grant to engage area small business owners in updating East Lansing's outdated Downtown Design Guidelines document in order for the city to maintain its unique character into the future.  The City staff, consultants, and board members will lead multiple meetings for small business owners to think about desirable characteristics of East Lansing and how those characteristics may be improved.

Project Update: The Greater Lansing Destination Development Foundation has met and provided updates on the project to the Urban Farm Steering committee for the Comprehensive Plan, the East Lansing Arts Commission and the Downtown Development Authority. The project Work Plan has been completed. A special meeting was also held to discuss and review existing and preferred street scape elements followed by DMB Meet and Greet. 17 stakeholders attended the special meeting and discussed the project with staff and consultants. Photos and images of existing and proposed designs have been shared on the project web page and the City's Urban Form pinterest page.  The group also led a discussion elements of the draft plan with the Downtown Development Authority at their Project and Infrastructure Committee Meeting on March 20, with the Downtown Development Authority Board at their monthly meeting on March 27 and with the Comprehensive Plan Urban Form and Infrastructure Steering Committees at their joint meeting on March 31.  A meeting to discuss the first draft is being scheduled for mid April. The final draft is expected to be completed in June rather than early May to ensure that stakeholders have enough time to review the draft before sending it back to the consultants to finalize.

Project Contact Information:

Lori Mullins, East Lansing Community & Economic Development Administrator

lmullins@cityofeastlansing.com

(517) 853-7800

Project Name: Mason Public Transit Planning

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Michigan Environmental Council's Mason Public Transit Project used its grant to engage marginalized groups, including students, veterans, and senior citizens in gauging the interest in target communities of CATA's existing weekday express bus service and the support within those communities for enhancing it.

Project Update: The Michigan Environmental Council has engaged project partners in outreach to target communities and potential locations for public forums. They also have received acceptance and approval from project partners. Outreach and phone meetings have been held with each primary project collaborators when input was gathered for logistics and general feeling for the project.  Survey questions are being developed. The first forum was held in late January. Another was held in March with the ANC Seniors Group, and surveys from this meeting have been completed.  The third forum was held on April 7 at 4pm at Tim Hortons, 2540E. Jolly Road in Lansing that was co-hosted by Representative Tom Cochran.  The final forum was held on April 21 at 5:30 pm at the Mason City Hall and included a brief presentation on project/topic and the opportunity for survey completion and questions.

Project Contact Information: 

Jeff Prygoski, Transportation for Michigan Fellow

jeffp@trans4m.org

(517) 487-9539

Project Name: Live Green Lansing Sculpture

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The REACH Studio Art Center used this Community Reinvestment Fund grant to educate area teenagers about environmental advocacy and sustainable living through the art.  This project will culminate in REACH teens building a sculpture made out of recycled materials that will become an icon for Live Green Lansing.

Project Update: The Live Green Lansing project has already held a number of planning meetings and formed a new partnership with MSU Bikes. Tim Potter from MSU Bikes is helping REACH students determine if the sculpture can be powered by a bicycle generator. A complete schedule and work plan has been completed and additional support from the Lansing Board of Water and Light in the form of a trailer, and lights for the sculpture as well as additional supplies if needed.  Throughout March, 19 students continued to work with guest artist Dan Nune on the City of Lansing’s Live Green Lansing Campaign.  Dan Hartley also continues to capture footage of the progress for the mini-documentary that will be created upon project completion. The students have created dinosaur “bones” using PVC pipes to act as the front and back leg supports–which were then wrapped in chicken wire to create the muscular shape, which was then filled with foam.  They then glued together pre-cut body shapes of insulation foam for the main body of the stegosaurus. Our guest artist anticipates youth creating a PVC backbone to connect the three main pieces (body, front and back legs) in April. Sketches have been created to begin brainstorming how recycled objects can be used on the dinosaur’s surface and for the history of light (from fire and moonlight, all the way to CFC light bulbs), that will be added to the stegosaurus spine scales. Technology continues to be used in the classroom in a variety of ways; From showing off Photoshop techniques used to create final flawless images of the history of light to checking out other large scale recycled sculptures for inspiration. Dan Nunez also introduced the students to the use of LED lights in art; encouraging them to make decisions on how the LED’s can be used in the final piece.  It has become apparent that the stegosaurus will be too large to fit through the doors. REACH has reached out to the REO town community and secured a garage space close to our studio that will be used for the final stages of construction. Regarding upcoming events, the Teen Open Studio continues to meet every Thursday from 3-6pm.

 

 


Project Contact Information: 

Alice Brinkman, Executive Director

alice@reachstudioart.org

Joy Baldwin 

joy@reachstudioart.org

(517) 999-3643

Project Name: Elmhurst Task Force

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Retired Seniors Volunteer Program used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with area seniors and youth to determine the best course of action for future use of the former Elmhurst Elementary School in Lansing's Colonial Village Neighborhood.

Project Update: In March, the task force reviewed the list of programs that they developed of what Elmhurst could offer to the community.  RSVP looked at what activities would be difficult to implement and why along with what partnerships that would be needed.  The task force developed a survey asking the residents for their input. It is going out in April’s Colonial Village Neighborhoods newsletter with 1,500 copies.  For the next meeting the Lansing School District’s Superintendent, Caamal Canul is meeting with the task force on April 22nd.  This final meeting, along with the survey results, should provide RSVP with sufficient information to complete their Final Report.

Project Contact Information:

Janet Clark. Executive Director

janet@rsvp.lansing.com

Other Email: community@rsvp.lansing.com

(517) 887-6116

Project Name: Newcomers C.L.A.S.S. Part II

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Refugee Development Center in Lansing used this grant to supplement the work being done with their Round III project to continue their progress in engaging refugee youth with the Greater Lansing Community.

Project Update:  Weekly civic engagement classes have continued successfully. Students are required to participate in 2-3 days/week of educational programming.  This was accomplished by assisting students with the following topics in addition to English:  math fractions, hand washing/hygiene, personal responsibility, nutrition, the dangers of stereotyping, and bullying prevention strategies.  Students also continue to inform the Refugee Development Center of issues in their schools and RDC directed students to help resolve the issues, and are  learning about civic responsibilities and the importance of respecting others’ beliefs. Non-violent community engagement and recommendations for next steps have begun as well.  Since this project’s goals require that 100% of students be able to identify strategies and skills to peacefully address safety concerns, students were offered bullying prevention strategies and from there, 100% of players participated in a skit where they were required to role play a bullying/conflict situation and resolve it peacefully in the month of March (measurement: participant observation).

Project Contact Information:

Shirin Timms, Director

stimms@rdclansing.org

(517) 422-2252

Project Name: Government In Action

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Eaton County United Way Relevant Academy used its grant to educate students on state-level environmental planning process through identifying and following a bill of interest through the governmental process. Students are attending committee meetings and communicating with State Representatives to express their issues, concerns, and ideas on the proposed bill.

Project Update: Seven learners have been identified and confirmed participate in the project so far.  Learners were identified based on the following: not having taken government course yet, those that would not be graduating this spring, and those that participate in year round program at Relevant Academy. Contact was made with Theresa Abed this week regarding her coming in to speak to learners in early May about bills she is sponsoring and how to become involved in the community and local government – she is excited to be a part of this project. Several milestones have also been reached in the project, including making some connections and involvement with the National Government by participating in the First Lady’s virtual field trip to China. Learners were involved by using Twitter to communicate with the First Lady and each other regarding her trip. Unfortunately we haven’t heard back from the First Lady at all, but she did answer some similar questions to ours in her live feed from China!  Right now the only issue is scheduling Representative Abed to come in. She is only available Mondays and Fridays and most of our learners attend Tuesday-Thursday so we’ll have to work on getting them here and finding rides when she comes - it looks like Fridays will be the most feasible. Her scheduling person is out of the office this week so I will be calling next week to schedule.  

Project Contact Information:


Joni Risner

 

joni@ecuw.org 

 

Loretta Williams

 

loretta@relevantacademy.org

 

(517) 543-5402

Project Name: Artist Live/Work Space

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Arts Council of Greater Lansing used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to bring together individual artists to develop a working document that identifies governmental processes and elicits ideas for the creative vision needed to develop a shared arts and cultural live/work space.

Project Update: Barb Whitney of the Arts Council of Greater Lansing has been researching models for best practice in creating shared live/work space. Further, she has begun making contacts with potential presenters regarding the grant project and the development of a vision for a shared live/work space in the Lansing area. The Arts Council of Greater Lansing is tentatively planning a session with presenter, Jane Robinson, in June and a presentation from a national agency in July (TBD). Barb has actively researched national models and reached out to Artspace (MN) regarding their potential participation. The Arts Council looks forward to continuing our work on this great project.

Project Contact Information:


Deborah E. Mikula, Executive Director

debbie@lansingarts.org


(517) 853-7581

Project Name: Engaging Youth in Problem Solving the Transportation Needs of Delta Township Residents

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: This Eaton County United Way used this grant to engage high school students from Waverly High School and Grand Ledge High School in identifying, evaluating, and resolving the public transportation needs that are not adequately met within Delta Township. Students are participating in all levels of the governmental planning process and will present proposals to solve current issues to Delta Township officials.

Project Update: The Delta Township Government Youth Council (DTGYC) has met two times since their last report was submitted. It is working on a couple action items right now: First, it has provided the Grand Ledge High School newspaper an article describing what the group is studying and trying to accomplish through the grant process.  It is also drafting survey questions that the DTGYC will be using to get the opinions of their classmates as well as members of the business community related to their public transportation concerns and needs. There are not yet specific dates of when the DTGYC will be conducting the surveys, however the dates will be included in the May report.

Project Contact Information:

Joni Risner, Executive Director

joni@ecuw.org

Jenny Roberts, Deputy Manager of Delta Charter Township

jroberts@deltami.gov

(517) 543-5402

Project Name: Citizen Stewards & Michigan on the Ground

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: Michigan United Conservation Clubs used its grant with the Community Reinvestment Fund to work with sportsmen and women in the Tri-County Region to improve and enhance critical fisheries and wildlife habitat on public lands.  Additionally, the project aims to expand the network of “Citizen Stewards” who are actively engaged in conservation and stewardship of Michigan’s natural resources.

Project Update: Both of MUCC’s projects were pushed back to September with the possibility of one of these projects being moved to Clinton county at the Maple River SGA in August.

Project Contact Information: 

Erin McDonough, Executive Director

emcdonough@mucc.org

(517) 346-6475

Project Name: Time for Waverly Hills Planning

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: For this grant with the Community Reinvestment Fund, the Mid-Michigan Time Bank is again partnering with the Lansing Neighborhood Council to work on planning the future of Waverly Hills Park. The park is slated for sale, however there has yet to be a community planning effort to engage residents to discuss their vision for the community. The Mid-Michigan Time Bank’s Time for Community Planning project incentivizes city planning while educating door to door to organize a public charrette and a student (K-12) charrette for the park.

Project Update: A work plan has been completed however work has yet to start on the project. The Lansing Neighborhood Council representatives have been discussing the Waverly Hills Planning project with City of Lansing planners to resolve some issues.  The month of March was  spent doing background research on the charette procedure, the history of the park, and the dynamics of vested interests. MTTC also developed survey questions. These will be completed and attached to the next update.

Project Contact Information:

Edge Brussel, Mid-Michigan Time Bank

midmichigantimebank@gmail.com

(517) 862-0422

Project Name: Dreamscape

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: Eaglevision Ministries used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with a group of students familiar with sex trafficking to examine, analyze, and make policy recommendations to local law enforcement organizations and elected officials in an effort to reduce the number of children forced into the trade.

Project Update: March was an exciting month for the participants of Dreamscape.  Meetings were held on Fridays the 14, 21, and 28 for approximately 1.5 hrs. each. On the 21st, a gritty film on sexual trafficking around the world was viewed and included a subsequent discussion. On the 28th, the students were visited by an individual trafficked at the age of 16 and ended up serving 14 years in prison for “failure to report a crime”. The students sat riveted and asked her incredibly intelligent questions such as “what could have prevented her from getting into sexual trafficking and what they could do to prevent their children from getting into sexual trafficking”. The conversation turned to ways to help victims. Great progress is being made and the students may be ready to present in about 4-5 weeks before a board. Computer research will begin in April for more information about trafficking in the Lansing area, problems, solutions, and recommendations.  This group mainly consists of high school dropouts, mostly male, that are working to complete a GED and to secure employment, with very impressive efforts thus far.

Project Contact Information:

Dr. LaClaire Bouknight

lbouknig@yahoo.com

(517) 574-564

Project Name: Youth Environmental Engagement

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: South Side Community Coalition (SSCC) used this Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage K-12 students as they learn how to create, amend and comment upon local environmental policy. Students will work with local elected officials, environmental leaders and community advocates to learn how government planning works. SSCC has already selected recycling as one of the key issues for the project and they will also volunteer at Recycle Rama and meet with the Regional Recycling Coordinators Committee to learn about regional recycling issues.

Project Update: Lori Welch visited South Side Community Coalition on March 27th to discuss recycling with SSCC youth, with twenty-five students in attendance. The presentation opened the kids up to recycling and served as a great entry to recycling for the kids and helped illustrate the final goals of the project. Eight students also participated in Recycle Rama. Future events include a tour of a recycling plant and teaching the kids about vermicomposting. Youth will work closely with the City of Lansing and other groups to learn more about how to become more involved.

Project Contact Information:

Yolanda Sherrer, Youth and Senior Programs Coordinator

ysherrer@southsidecommunitycoalition.org 

(517) 394-6840

Project Name: Building a Better Butler Corridor: Neighborhood Plan & Toolkit

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Lansing Westside Commercial Association used this Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work directly with the Butler Corridor Coalition to implement the first Neighborhood Plan to be completed following the City of Lansing’s 2012 adoption of the Design Lansing Master Plan. This grassroots-driven planning process will build upon work already underway to give residents and business owners the opportunity to shape the future of the Butler Corridor. Two neighborhood forums will be held to help create the Neighborhood Plan and Toolkit that will serve as a template for other organizations and coalitions to replicate.

Project Update: To date, the Butler Corridor Coalition has secured Landscape Architects and Planners for their upcoming event, met with the City of Lansing Planning and Development Director and Zero Day Director Tim Hunnicutt. Key stakeholder outreach has begun and initial agendas and outreach materials have been created for the two events that were scheduled in April and May. A Public Walk, Chalk and Talk event was also held on May 6, 2014.

Project Contact Information:

Rory Neuner, President

rory@lansingwca.org

(517) 515-3535

Project Name: Youth Leadership Program--Natural Resources Commission Extension Project

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Fenner Conservancy used its grant to engage K-12 youth and Households at/below Area Median Income in the planning process of the Natural Resources Commission. Students will learn about the legislative process by attending meetings, engaging with commissioners, and by submitting public comments on emerging and relevant issues.

Project Update:  The Youth Leadership Program--Natural Resources Commission Extension Project is just getting off the ground.  During the month of May, The Fenner Conservancy finalized their grant award with the Community Reinvestment Fund by submitting their signed award letter, project plan, and budget.  More updates on this project will be available within the next month.

Project Contact Information:

Jason Meyer, Executive Director

Jason@mynaturecenter.org

Liz Roxberry, Program Manager

liz@mynaturecenter.org

(517) 483-4224

Project Name: Youth Environmental Engagement Expansion

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The South Side Community Coalition used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage Southside Lansing youth with the City of Lansing’s Capital Area Recycling & Trash (CART) and the Regional Recycling Coordinating Committee in a regional feasibility study to assess the state and attitudes of recycling of the Greater Lansing region.  Participating youth have engaged with recycling professionals and community leaders around emerging issues including business and multi-unit residential recycling programs. They also attended the Michigan Recycling Coalition’s annual conference to learn more about recycling policy development from statewide experts!

Project Update: The South Side Community Coalition has submitted its signed award letter, project plan, and budget approved.  While the project is still in its early stages, there has already been collaboration between the South Side Community Coalition and another Round VI grantee, the Michigan Recycling Coalition to lead a tour of youth through Michigan State University's Recycling Center in late May/early June.  Additionally, the South Side Community Coalition will work with the South Lansing Commercial Development Association, another Round VI Community Reinvestment Fund grantee, on their Downtown Supermarket Project.

Project Contact Information:

Pete Cunningham, Director

Pcunningham13@yahoo.com

Yolanda Sherrer, Youth & Senior Programs Coordinator

ysherrer@southsidecommunitycoalition.org

(517) 394-6840

Project Name: Downtown Supermarket

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: In 2011, the South Lansing Community Development Association engaged stakeholders in a strategic planning process to open a supermarket in Colonial Village. This new Community Reinvestment Fund grant has enabled the South Lansing Community Development Association to replicate this effort and attract a supermarket downtown.

Project Update:   The South Lansing Community Development Association (SLCDA) is just getting their project off the ground, having submitted their signed award letter, project plan, and budget to the Community Reinvestment Fund.  Throughout the course of the Downtown Supermarket Project, another Round VI grantee, the South Side Community Coalition will be working with the SLCDA as well.

Project Contact Information:

Kathie Dunbar, Executive Director

Kathie@southlansing.org

(517) 374-570

Project Name: Parent Outreach & Engagement

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Michigan Association of Public School Academies used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage low-income parents and guardians in the Tri-County Region in navigating state level government as it relates to current legislative priorities that stand to have a large impact on their child's education. Specifically, this project seeks to provide training on the legislative process and how to form constructive questions and initiate interactions with policymakers concerning education related legislation being considered in Michigan.

Project Update: While the Michigan Association of Public School Academies is just getting their project started, there is already work being done. At this time MAPSA has submitted its signed award letter, work plan and budget. It has begun to plan an agenda for its training sessions, which will include an overview of many of the boards, bodies, and commissions that impact education, and a commitment to interaction with one of these groups following their participation at a training session. The majority of the work will begin on June 1 and carry out throughout the summer to prepare for the training sessions in the fall.

Project Contact Information:

Dan Quinsberry, Executive Director

dquisenberry@charterschools.org

(517) 374-9167

Project Name: Healthy Foods for All

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The NorthWest Initiative's used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to engage food desert neighborhoods with the goal of increasing access to healthy foods.  Each area includes traditionally under-served populations, with higher percentages of low and very low income people and racial and ethnic minorities than City of Lansing averages and high incidences of diseases that result from poor nutrition.

Project Update:  The NorthWest Initiative has submitted its signed letter, work plan, and project budget to the Community Reinvestment Fund.  As the project progresses, NorthWest will document needs in Lansing's "food deserts"  in a written report and recommendations.  NorthWest will take residents of those areas through a learning and mentoring process of developing skills and capacity for engaging with the City Council, planning and development agencies, and others to bring grocers and healthier foods to these areas.

Project Contact Information:

Peggy Vaughn-Payne, Executive Director

peggy@nwlansing.org

(517) 999-2894

Project Name: Expanding Accessible Opportunities for All

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: Peckham Inc. used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with Work Force Action Team (WFAT) and Veteran's group by attending government planning meetings with Potter Park Zoo, the Accessibility advisory Council (AAC), Lansing City Council, Lansing Parks and Recreation, and Habitat for Humanity.  Peckham seeks to gain partnership and support in making Potter Park Zoo more accessible for persons with disabilities and dedicating the improvements to veterans.

Project Update: Peckham has returned its signed award letter, work plan, and budget and is currently beginning its project.  Further updates on this project will be forthcoming.

Project Contact Information:

Mitchell Tomlinson, Executive Director

mtomlinson@peckham.org

(517) 316-4406

Project Name: Lansing Regional Recycling Study--How to Move Things Forward

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Michigan Recycling Coalition used its Community Reinvestment Fund grant to work with the Regional Recycling Coordinating Committee (R2C2), local municipalities, interested stakeholders, students, and elected officials to conduct an analysis of regional recycling and make policy recommendations based on the needs of the Greater Lansing Community.

Project Update: The Michigan Recycling Coalition has submitted its signed award letter, work plan, and budget to the Community Reinvestment Fund.  Additionally, it has planned to work with the South Side Community Coalition in scheduling and leading a tour of the Michigan State University Recycling Center. 

Project Contact Information:

Kerrin O'Brien, Executive Director

kobrien@michiganrecycles.org

(517) 974-3672

Project Name: Leadership Disaster Resiliency and Prevention for People with Disabilities Project

Project Status: In Progress

Project Summary: The Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) is working with www.do1thing.us on a disaster preparedness project to help Tri-County individuals with disabilities.  These organizations have used this grant to increase the participation of people with disabilities in disaster preparedness planning, making them more resilient to the varied effects natural and man-made disasters can bring.

Project Update: Currently, the MDRC and do1thing have submitted their signed award letter, project plan, and budget and are working closely together.  More updates will be provided regarding the status of this project as the summer progresses.

Project Contact Information:

RoAnne Chaney, MDRC

roanne@mymdrc.org

Erika Mahoney, www.do1thing.us

erikamahoney@do1thing.com

(517) 333-2477 x 317