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Kellogg Foundation Awards $314,000 Challenge Grant to Local Coalition

Posted on May 30, 2007

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek has awarded a $314,000 challenge grant to a large coalition of organizations throughout St. Clair County.

The grant is through the Kellogg Foundation’s Access to Recreation Initiative, which is a three-year, multi-million dollar initiative with a goal of creating universal access to outdoor recreation for all people, of all abilities.

The effort in St. Clair County is a joint project of the following organizations;

  • St. Clair County Parks & Recreation Commission
  • Regional Educational Service Agency
  • Blue Water Center for Independent Living
  • Charter Township of East China
  • The ARC of St. Clair County
  • Community Foundation of SCC
  • Downriver Recreation Commission
  • City of Algonac
  • St. Clair DDA
  • Freedom Kayaks
  • Port Huron Parks & Rec

The fiduciary responsibility for the grant will be with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, which in the mid 1990’s received a $1,000,000 grant from the same Kellogg Foundation to create its Youth Advisory Council.

According to organizers of the coalition, the targeted projects must be completed by the end of March, 2009 in order to meet the terms of the grant. In addition to several physical improvements to parks and nature areas throughout the county, the Community Foundation must also agree to create and administer a permanent endowment fund dedicated to improving access to recreation for people of all abilities.

Beginning this year the coalition hopes to complete the following projects through this program;

  • The first handicap accessible public treehouse in Michigan, to be built by RESA at the Pine River Nature Center
  • Improvements to the public pool in Algonac and the implementation of new kayak and canoe safety programs in partnership with Freedom Kayaks
  • New canoe and kayak launch sites at the East China Township Park and the new Columbus County Park
  • Accessible boat docks in the rebuilt St. Clair boat harbor on the Pine River
  • New beach chairs for public beaches in Port Huron
  • A new endowment fund at the Community Foundation to support future access related projects

As a part of the grant program the coalition partners will need to raise matching funds of $260,000 to complete all of the projects as planned. Included in that amount is $90,000 towards the endowment fund match.

Since 2004 the Community Foundation, through collaborations such as this, has helped bring in over $1.2 million in grants to St. Clair County from other foundations and/or state agencies in Michigan.

For more information, email Gigi Mericka at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 810-937-2707.

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