Stories from the Midland Area Community Foundation

Two grants help Hope Township become more ADA compliant

July 6th, 2017

A beautiful park should be enjoyed by everyone. That’s why the Midland Area Community Foundation (MACF) was happy to award two grants totaling $13,000 for the construction of a walkway and handicapped parking near Hope township’s 68-acre Woodside Park.

“We’re very proud of our park,” says Hope township supervisor Andy Kobisa. “It’s a great centerpiece for our town, and it gets a lot of use. But it wasn’t easily accessible for everyone. We put an ADA-compliant walkway between the two pavilions, as well as a similar walkway across the road to the bathrooms. We also created three dedicated handicapped parking spaces, one beside each pavilion and one near the bathrooms.”

The total cost of the project was around $25,000, so the community foundation funded just over half of the project. The township itself put in $5,000 in matching funds, and the rest came from other sources. Kobisa is fairly certain that none of it would have happened without the two MACF grants.

“That was the real impetus,” he says. “We just wouldn’t have been able to do this otherwise.”

Although Kobisa has been in Hope Township for 47 years and has worked with several other foundations for obtaining grants, this was his first time partnering with MACF.

“I’m also president of the Midland County Township Officials Association,” Kobisa says. “We have three meetings throughout the year where, among other things, we have someone come in and give us a presentation about something we might be interested in. At one of those meetings, Sharon Mortensen came in and explained to everyone what MACF does and what money is available, so afterward I explained what we were doing and she gave me the application and told me the process. That’s when I applied for the $8,000 grant, and then one of the members of the park committee turned in the $5,000 TOWN grant application, and when that was granted we were able to get the rest of the money to fully fund everything.”

Next on the list, Hope township wants to make the bathrooms at Woodside Park ADA-compliant. They have an estimate on that now and are in the process of applying for grants, including from the community foundation.

“It’s really helpful to know about MACF and the things they can do to help us improve our community,” Kobisa says. “Our first experience showed us how easy it was to go ahead and work with the foundation to present what we wanted. Now that I know about them, I might never leave them alone.”

Your community foundation is constantly at work, partnering with nonprofits, townships, parks and schools to help make Midland an even better place to live, work, and play.