THOMPSONVILLE — Michigan Legacy Art Park is quickly moving closer to a $320,000 goal for several improvements, including a new barrier-free trail.
Maurice and Linda White of Thompsonville donated $50,000 to the park’s Access for All Campaign last week.
“It’s for the kids,” said White of the donation. White, an art park board member, is co-owner of D&W Mechanical in Traverse City.
The donation comes on the heels of a $75,000 capital improvement grant from the Michigan Arts and Cultural Council earlier this month.
The Whites’ donation, state and other grants also will help build upgrades to the amphitheater and a new Discovery Grove and commission new sculptures.
“We are excited that Michigan Legacy Art Park will be universally accessible,” said Annie Campbell, development manager of the Disability Network Northern Michigan. “This will provide an educational and recreational outlet for so many who are currently unable to enjoy the park.”
The outdoor park also has received a $40,000 challenge grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City and $5,000 from Aline Underhill Orten Foundation. The total raised so for the arts access campaign is $170,000, a little more than half the $320,000 goal.
Ground breaking on the barrier-free trail will start this spring.
“We’re thrilled to have such wonderful momentum as this calendar year comes to a close,” said Renee Hintz, art park executive director.
People who would like to contribute to to matching challenge grants before the end of the calendar year, can call Hintz at 231-378-4963. Naming opportunities are available, she said.
The Discovery Grove will be named for the Whites.
Checks should be made payable to Michigan Legacy Art Park and mailed to: Michigan Legacy Art Park, 12500 Crystal Mountain Drive, Thompsonville, MI 49683. Online gifts are accepted at www. michlegacyartpark.org. Click the blue “donate now” button and select “Barrier-Free Access Project” during the checkout process. Renee Hintz, art park director.
Michigan Legacy Art Park is a nonprofit organization. It offers more than 40 outdoor sculptures, 30 poetry stones, and 1.6 miles of hiking trails through 30 acres of woods.
More than 800 students from 10 northwestern Michigan counties, Ann Arbor and Hope College explored the Art Park from October 2012 through September 2013.