ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – Marquette County Land Bank Authority and Ishpeming Public Schools worked together to build the Hematite art park in 2019, now they are fundraising for several additions to finish the space.
Marquette County Land Bank Authority will help with the finishing items, then the land will be turned over to Ishpeming Public Schools according to Anne Giroux, Executive Director of the land bank. She says they will be adding to the four art panels and two benches already in the park.
“We’re looking to put in four more and two benches to pretty much finish off, there’s a little a couple other odds and ends like putting a trash bin, some additional landscaping things like that but we’re really looking to just raise the funds to finish off the park so that the land bank can transfer the property to the school district,” said Giroux.
Giroux says they are halfway through their fundraising campaign and donations can be made on patronicity.com.
“We’re halfway through the patronicity campaign, it goes through December 15, we’re actually $175 shy of meeting our goal which is great just halfway through and we’re already at our goal almost,” said Giroux. “Our goal was $6,000 and if we reach that, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will match that $6,000.”
The current artwork is made to last around six years. Ishpeming can add more artwork to the large fence along the side of the park and on the new panels, as years go on they can change out the art.
“It’s really kind of designed to be a place or a space to continue to put additional art in,” said Giroux. “The panels that we’ve installed so far are really designed to last six to eight years so you know six to eight years from now as they’re starting to show weather, the school could have their students create additional artwork to put in its place we do have kind of a large fence on the side of the property that could be used to hang art as well.”
There is also a new gazebo going in at the park, Giroux says Ishpeming High School Students are helping build it. The land bank has a partnership with the high school called “Hematites building better neighborhoods.”
“They started off with renovating a house that’s just right over adjacent to the park property and when they finished with that the next project they took on they worked with the city on the Santa House and worked on that project and were looking for another project to work on it just seemed like a really good fit for them to build the gazebo here for the art park,” said Giroux.
The gazebo should be finished in the summer next year.
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