2016 Great Place Project
Twenty-five local businesses, organizations, and individuals applied for the 2016 Great Place Project, a collaborative effort of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic’s Moving Matters project. The Great Place Project is a friendly, local opportunity for funds to use high impact, low cost ideas to create great places in our communities. Funding amounts range from $250 to $1,250 per selected project.In 2016 the Minnesota Power Foundation joined as a major sponsor of the Great Place Project, with additional funds from the Cook County Community Fund and the Chamber of Commerce.
Congratulations to these great local applicants!
2016 Great Place Projects
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 Woodenware: $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.
Fly Box and Company: $750. Transformation of a gravel parking lot into a retail store, with a deck, plants, and benches.
What is a Great Place?
A great place is inviting, beautiful, and catches the eye. It reflects the unique character and identity of the community. And a great place encourages people to slow down and spend time there. Placemaking comes in many varieties, from public art to seating – new ideas and innovation are encouraged! Past projects can be viewed on our website at 2015 Great Place Projects and 2014 Great Place Projects.
Theme for the 2016 Great Place Project
We are excited to be in our third year, creating great places throughout Cook County and Grand Portage. This year, our theme for the Great Place Project is “Playability.” Projects that enhance or create a place that welcomes people with a playfulness or whimsy, especially for children, were favored.
In addition, this year we sought projects which demonstrated that they will have significant visual impact and will inspire physical activity. Projects that entice children and families to run and play and laugh, for example, scored high on our review, as did projects that create beauty with sufficient “pop” that they cause people to stop for a longer look.
We also looked favorably on projects that have a large portion of match, whether it is dollars, volunteer labor, or donated materials. It is our goal to leverage our small amount of available funds to create projects that are larger than life in their positive impact.