Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Community Foundation hosted its 2016 Annual Celebration on Monday, June 13 at New Beginnings Enrichment Center, 2609 E. Genesee Ave., Saginaw. An estimated crowd of 235 people were in attendance.
During this year’s celebration, Saginaw Community Foundation announced the 2016 Community Improvement Initiative grant recipient. $25,000 was awarded to The Nature Conservancy for its “Riverside Park” project in Saginaw.
The Nature Conservancy is working with multiple community partners, including Saginaw County, Saginaw Future, and the State of Michigan to develop and implement an open space, recreation and conservation vision for the proposed Riverfront Park, located in southwest Saginaw on a former industrial property owned by the RACER Trust. The conceptual plan includes public access to the river and lake for fishing, multiple trails and a link to a larger regional vision for trails, open space and recreation lands.
“RACER Trust’s goal in all instances is for its former industrial properties to achieve highest and best reuse potential. Given the characteristics and attributes of these properties, we believe the proposed expansion of Riverfront Park as a community recreational resource achieves this objective,” said Elliott P. Laws, of EPLET, LLC, administrative trustee of RACER Trust, which owns much of the former industrial property that would be added to Riverfront Park. “This reuse option can provide tremendous quality-of-life benefits that can make a community more attractive for investment and jobs, thus helping RACER fulfill its economic development mission.”
Community Improvement Initiative grant recipients are eligible to receive an additional $5,000 if the recipient matches the $25,000 grant.
In addition to the Community Improvement Initiative grant recipient announcement, three awards were presented. The Frank N. Andersen Spirit of Philanthropy Award was presented to B.J. Humphreys; the Dr. Mridha Teacher of the Year Award was presented to Sara Weiss, Freeland High/Middle School; and the Joseph W. Madison Youth Award was presented to Tyler Thiel, student from Swan Valley High School. Visit saginawfoundation.org/site/annual-awards/ for details about each award and the 2016 recipients.
Saginaw Community Foundation also recognized outgoing board members for their dedication and leadership in helping Saginaw Community Foundation to fulfill its mission. Outgoing board members include David J. Abbs, Andre Buckley, Shari Kennett, and Francine Rifkin.
Courtesy Photos: Top Left – Tyler Thiel (second from left), student from Swan Valley High School, is the recipient of the 2016 Joseph W. Madison Youth Award. Bottom Left – Sara Weiss, teacher at Freeland High/Middle School, is the recipient of the 2016 Dr. Mridha Teacher of the Year Award. Bottom Right – B.J. Humphreys accepts the 2016 Frank N. Andersen Spirit of Philanthropy award from Smallwood Holoman, vice-chair, Saginaw Community Foundation.