Evart DDA receives Community Foundation grant

Will fund MSU Sustainable Built Environment Initiative project

EVART — The Evart Downtown Development Authority has received a grant from the Osceola County Community Foundation in the amount of $10,500, to be used for the “walkable Evart” project with Michigan State University’s Sustainable Built Environment Initiative.

“The cost from SBEI is $7,500, and we received $750 from MFCU, so the $10,500 goes to the remaining $6,750 from SBEI and covers director salary and overhead for coordinating the project,” said former DDA director Eric Kehoe.

The proposed project will focus on improving walkability and pedestrian mobility in the Main Street district and its potential connection to the Muskegon River, city-owned parks and the U.S. 10 corridor, information from the MSU SBEI stated.

A team of MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction students has been studying Evart in order to make recommendations on improving walkability and pedestrian mobility in the business district and improving walking access to the parks and other parts of the city.

The purpose of the project is to develop a vision for the character of downtown Evart. It will look at surrounding context and adjacent community assets to create a thriving destination for residents and visitors.

The goal is to create an attractive place for people to live, work and play, to become more pedestrian friendly and walkable, and to improve the visual appearance and first impression of the downtown area.

The project will guide future land use and design decisions and serve as a bridge for future design work.

Planning recommendations and implementation strategies will be identified and presented by the SBEI through the MSU School of planning, Design and Construction.

The MSU project team will:

• review previously completed plans regarding land use and community development;

• conduct a visual study of the area from a plan and design perspective;

• get input as to how residents and guests feel about the current condition and what they would like to see happen;

• present recommendations and get additional public input;

• present a final design and planning recommendation for the area.

Timeframe for the project will be from May 2021 through June 2022.

A meeting with the MSU team to gather public input will be held at 6 p.m., July 7, at the Osceola County Fairgrounds community room.

For more information call 231-734-0185 or visit evart.org.