An art-history mural, several playgrounds, a colorful wayfinding sign for Grand Marais, an outdoor ping pong table at the library and several similar projects will receive funding from the 2016 Great Place Project, announced Maren Webb of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Jim Boyd of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce.
An eight-member evaluation panel met recently to make selections from among the 25 excellent applications. “Unfortunately, we had only $14,000 to distribute,” Boyd said, “and about $26,000 in first-rate requests. Deciding which to fund was difficult.” The panel evaluated each project independently on half a dozen criteria, from visual impact and encouragement of active living, to amount of match and ‘playability.’ The project adopted ‘playability’ as a theme this year and gave additional points to projects that ‘enhance or create a place that welcomes people with a playfulness or whimsy, especially for children.’ Ultimately, the panel decided on funding 15 projects, some with a bit less money than requested in order to make the available funds spread as far as possible.
Major funding for the 2016 Great Place Race came in a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Power Foundation. Additional funding came from the Chamber and may be offset through additional, pending grant applications.
“We are very grateful to the Minnesota Power Foundation,” said Maren Webb of the Clinic’s Moving Matters project, co-sponsor with the Chamber of the Great Place Project. “Without its help, the 2016 program would have been in doubt.”
Projects funded in the 2016 Great Place Project include:
- Grand Marais Art Colony: $1,250. A joint project with Grand Marais Art Colony, Voyageur Brewing, Cook County Higher Ed, Betsy Bowen Gallery and Studios, and First Congregational Church for a colorful wayfinding sign to be erected in front of the brewery on Highway 61.
- Shore Girl Studios/Birchbark Books and Gifts: $1,250. Paint-by-number murals to be created by public during Arts Festival (July 9-10), then installed on north wall of Birchbark Books and Gifts.
- Sivertson Gallery: $1,250. Phase 1 of 3-phase mural by Dave Gilsvik wrapping around two sides of Sivertson Gallery. Mural will depict the history of art in Cook County and Grand Marais.
- Sarah Hamilton and Beaver House: $1,250. Restoration of murals and other elements on Beaver House exterior.
- Cooperation Station Daycare: $1,150. Whimsical figures painted on fence around child care center’s playground.
- Joy & Co.: $1,100. Sound wall and other child-friendly enhancements to playground area behind store.
- Cook County Historical Society: $1,075. Project to beautify northwest corner of Bally Blacksmith Shop lot.
- Cook County Community YMCA: $1,000. Outdoor play space for children ages birth-5 in front of YMCA building.
- Schroeder Township: $930. Refurbish playground and public gathering area around Schroeder Town Hall.
- Putt ‘n Pets: $800: Stand-behind face cutouts of farm scenes to be erected next to Putt ‘n Pets miniature golf.
- Lockport Marketplace & Grill: $750. Creation of a colorful rest area for bicyclists near Highway 61 at Lockport Marketplace & Grill.
- Nordic Wooden Ware: $550. Beautify area behind workshop next to Joy & Co.
- Ann Possis: $500. Installation of outdoor ping pong table on grassy area in front of Grand Marais Library for free use by public.
- Chris and Anne Hegg: $400. Construction and installation of two wooden benches at wildflower sanctuary at intersection of Gunflint Trail and County Road 60, on site of original Hedstrom mill.
- Flybox and Company: $750. Transformation of a gravel parking lot into a retail store, with a deck, plants, and benches.
Projects will be implemented over the coming months. For more information, visit www.becausemovingmatters.org/greatplaceproject.
Published in the Cook County News-Herald, 4/23/16 edition.