Consumers Energy Foundation Bolsters Efforts in Oxford, Muskegon Heights with $500,000 in Prosperity Awards
Grants Support Downtown, Community Transformations
JACKSON, Mich., July 21, 2022 – The Consumers Energy Foundation is providing $500,000 to help Oxford and Muskegon Heights start major downtown and community transformations. The two communities, in metro Detroit and in West Michigan, will each receive $250,000 from the foundation’s annual Prosperity Awards.
“These communities are committed to reinventing themselves and have developed plans to grow and prosper. The Consumers Energy Foundation is proud to give them the support they need with these Prosperity Awards,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “These awards are designed to strengthen neighborhoods across the state and highlight our own commitment to Michigan’s businesses and communities.”
The two winning projects are:
- Village of Oxford Downtown Development Authority – The Downtown Oxford Community Courtyards & Placemaking project will revitalize the downtown corridor by improving the exteriors and entrances of over 100 businesses, as well as repurpose underused spaces for the community to gather and feel welcome.
- “On behalf of the Oxford community, we are grateful for the Consumers Energy Foundation and the Prosperity Award,” said Kelly Westbrook, Oxford DDA executive director. “This grant will help Oxford create a thoughtfully designed and functional community space with seating, lighting, shade and weather coverage, updated concrete, decorative elements and points of interest. The design is classic and timeless, enhancing the beauty and charm of Oxford’s historic district,” said Nicolette Shagena, project designer and owner of Caveman & Pip.
- City of Muskegon Heights – The “Reaching NEW Muskegon Heights” project will improve a central point of the city’s downtown, Rowan Park, making it an asset for residents and sparking further development in surrounding areas. Improvements to Rowan Park will include a splash pad, restrooms, fountain and a promenade.
- “We are excited to partner with the Consumers Energy Foundation and Greater Muskegon Economic development to fund improvements to Rowan Park. These improvements will complement the drum major sculpture, ‘Band Together,’ currently being planned for the park,” said Muskegon Heights Mayor Walter Watt. “These improvements are one of the first results of the recently approved Reaching NEW Muskegon Heights Vision Plan, a community-developed plan, for downtown Muskegon Heights.”
The Prosperity Awards are the second of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. Planet Awards winners were announced in April, and People Awards will be announced later this year. Last year’s Prosperity Awards funded a renovation of Flint’s Masonic Temple and a community rehabilitation plan in Cadillac.
The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2021, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed more than $17.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.
Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.