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Dog park in development

This artist’s rendering shows what the Hancock dog park will look like once fundraising and construction is complete. (Courtesy photo)

HANCOCK — A group of dog owners and residents of Hancock are raising funds to build a park for area dogs to enjoy safely while running off-leash. This effort will be made possible through a new crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the city of Hancock announced Friday.

The campaign is being offered through the Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $20,000 by Sept. 17, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, visit: patronicity.com/hancockdogpark.

“The City of Hancock Dog Park will revitalize an underused space and provide a safe and accessible space for residents and their canine companions to play,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman in a news release. “We are pleased to support and provide resources for this project through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The year-round off-leash dog park will be located near the Maasto Hiihto Trail Head by the Hancock Driving Park. The goal is to complete the fencing stage in the summer of 2021 with the addition of amenities as resources permit.

The funding from this campaign will support the completion of the park with eight-foot fencing around the perimeter, a separate fenced area for small dogs, a double-entry security gate, a water station, waste stations, benches, signage, a canopy for protection from elements, and landscaping with trees for a wind barrier.

“The Public Spaces Community Places grant program is vital to raising funds to transform a windswept, under-utilized acre of land on the edge of a rock quarry into a fenced, safe space for families to let their dogs run off-leash and socialize,” said Deborah Mann, dog owner and chairperson of the City of Hancock Recreation Commission, in the release. “The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match all funds donated up to $20,000 on the Patronicity platform. Your dollars go twice as far to create this vibrant new community space when you contribute to the Hancock Dog Park campaign.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at https://patronicity.com/puremichigan.

“The Michigan Municipal League is a firm believer in building community wealth in ways that enhance experiences for everyone, including our pets,” said Dan Gilmartin, the league’s CEO and executive director. “Creating this dog park in Hancock is community wealth building in action. With the public’s support, this park will improve the experience for people and their furry friends for years to come. That is what community wealth building is about.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan.

As of June 30, MEDC has provided more than $8.6 million in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 280 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with $10.1 million raised from 48,922 individual donors.

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