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Muskegon Heights gets $250K grant from Consumers Energy for Rowan Park upgrades

Facelift at downtown park key component to city’s transformation plan

As part of an on-going effort to re-vitalize the city’s downtown corridor, Muskegon Heights officials Thursday announced a $250,000 grant from Consumers Energy to update Rowan Park.

Officials say, the park is part of the city’s identity, but it’s also in dire need of a facelift, as the $250k grant from Consumers Energy will pay for updates including a new fountain, promenade, restrooms and splash pad.

However, the bigger idea behind the park is to provide a new safe space to host festivals and concerts as part of the city’s transformation plan that officials have dubbed “Reaching New Muskegon Heights”-- a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s downtown corridor that includes a new shops and restaurants, the construction of dozens of new homes nearby, and fully renovating the Strand Theater which has sat empty for the past 30 years.

“These communities are committed to reinventing themselves and have developed plans to grow and prosper. The Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to give them the support they need with these Prosperity Awards,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Jackson-based utility. “These awards are designed to strengthen neighborhoods across the state and highlight our own commitment to Michigan’s businesses and communities.”

With the $250 thousand grant from Consumers Energy, Muskegon Heights officials say the city now has raised around $20 million so far to help fund the transformation plan.

“We are excited to partner with the Consumers Energy Foundation and Greater Muskegon Economic development to fund improvements to Rowan Park,” Muskegon Heights Mayor Walter Watt said in a statement. “These improvements will complement the drum major sculpture, ‘Band Together,’ currently being planned for the park.”

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