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Grants Awarded to Communities Supporting The Grand Vision

News Release

October 15, 2012

Media Contacts:        

Dan Boss                                                             Matt McCauley
Program Publicity Specialist                            Director of Regional Planning &
Voice: (231) 929-5047                                       Community Development
Email:                  Voice: (231) 929-5061

Grants Awarded to Communities Supporting The Grand Vision


NORTHWEST MI— The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG), in partnership with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, announced this year’s recipients of New Designs for Growth: Community Growth Grants at a series of Grand Vision Community Action Updates held in each of the six Grand Vision counties during the first two weeks of October.

These awards, provided in part with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,  offer funding and/or technical assistance to local units of government for projects that pursue the principles of The Grand Vision as a means to increase economic prosperity and growth in their community.

“This year’s awards focus on four of The Grand Vision principles: creating unique and vibrant communities, multi-modal transportation options, protection and enrichment of our natural resources, and local food systems enhancement,” said Matt McCauley, NWMCOG director of regional planning and community development. “Their purpose is to move The Grand Vision to action by providing direct financial support to assist communities in their efforts to flourish and build the foundation for a more resilient regional economy.”

Projects from each of the six Grand Vision counties were awarded grants as follows:


  • Antrim County, Village of Ellsworth – awarded $12,500 to help support and market their farmers market, build awareness of the community, including downtown businesses and to strengthen ties between the agricultural and educational sectors.
  • Benzie County, City of Frankfort – awarded $12,500 to implement community WI-FI within the Main Street and Lake Michigan Beach corridor.   
  • Grand Traverse County Parks & Recreation Department – awarded $10,000 to advance the efforts of two new regional collaboratives (the Parks and Recreation Network, and the Up North Experience Partnership) with the goal of fostering a sustainable, world class parks and recreation system in the Grand Traverse Region.
  • Grand Traverse County, Village of Kingsley – awarded $5,000 for planning and funding for a public outdoor art display project to coordinate artists, donors, volunteers, businesses and the public to achieve success for the project.  
  • Kalkaska County – awarded a NWMCOG technical assistance grant that will bring in planning staff to organize and execute the creation of Kalkaska County’s recreation plan in a manner which also supports and reinforces township plans and planning efforts.
  • Kalkaska County, Village of Kalkaska – awarded a $7,500 grant to assist with the purchase of property in the 300 block of their downtown core slated for redevelopment in their new Master Plan.
  • Leelanau County, Village of Empire – awarded a $12,500 grant to identify and create transportation opportunities and alternatives that will enhance the ability of residents and visitors to move and circulate between the assets of the Village of Empire and the surrounding area.
  • Wexford County, City of Cadillac awarded a NWMCOG technical assistance grant for the creation of a Complete Streets policy to guide transportation project decision-making in their community. 


The Grand Vision is a citizen-led vision for the future of land use, transportation, economic development and environmental stewardship in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford counties. The ultimate goal of The Grand Vision is to create prosperity by making the communities it serves more attractive and viable.

The New Designs for Growth: Community Growth Grants program is administered by the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, in partnership with the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, and is made possible through generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.



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Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission