Posted on Monday May 03, 2021
For the last two years, Creating Great Places (CGP) has been quietly supporting Coon Rapids projects through several financial pledges. This month, they donated $10,000 to the city to help pay for new wayfinding signs and poles.
“Creating Great Places’ purpose is to provide capacity-building services for community-based groups,” said CGP Board President Jesica Leighty. “Our focus is on providing funds that support Coon Rapids’ projects that further historical preservation, culture, health-promotion, education, and other projects that will continue to make Coon Rapids a great place.”
In the past two years, CGP has made considerable financial contributions to the Coon Rapids community. In addition to the most recent $10,000, they have pledged over $20,000 in matching funds to have a large 360-degree mural painted on the Todd and Charlotte Heck grain bins on Main Street. They also provided the $2,500 to pay artist Zach Jones to commission artwork concepts for the bins. That project is still in the funding phase.
Last summer CGP donated $13,000 to the Coon Rapids Stronger Together Partnership Small Business Relief Program that provided grants to 16 local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2020 they also donated $2,500 towards implementing the new marketing plan for the community and $5,000 towards a Main Street Coon Rapids mini-grant program that provides funds for building owners to make improvements to their buildings.
CGP is a supporter of the Main Street Coon Rapids program, having pledged $2,000 annually for three years to the program. Annually, they contribute $6,000 to the city for the community coordinator position and expenses. In 2019, they donated $2,000 in matching funds to Whiterock Conservancy for a compostable restroom near the Garst Home Farm Fishing Ponds. Looking to the future, CGP board members have pledged $15,000 to the Riverside Trail Improvement project.
The non-profit organization in Coon Rapids is overseen by a five-person board consisting of Mary Schwaller, Kevin Dorpinghaus, Joel Roetman, Nathan Muench, and Leighty and an executive director, Katie Mason.