10 Accessibility Projects from 10 Years of Patronicity
We share 10 of our favorite community accessibility projects since 2013.
2023 marks the 10 year anniversary of Patronicity. Throughout this year, we’ll be sharing 10 projects from our primary project areas: accessibility, alleys and streetscapes, community centers and venues, education, environmental, events, food and agriculture, gardens and green spaces, public art, parks and playgrounds, public plaza and markets, small businesses, and trails. We’ll share our favorite, most memorable and successful projects from over the years. We hope these projects will inspire you to become a changemaker and get to work building vibrant communities.
First, we’re sharing 10 of our favorite community accessibility projects since 2013. In our definition of accessibility, we have considered physical accessibility for individuals with disabilities, as well as transportation, education, and internet access, as we know these can be major barriers for communities.
These projects range from small-scale space activations to large-scale capital investment projects, however the mission remains the same–to develop more accessible public spaces. We are proud to play a role in helping communities to create places that are accessible to individuals of all ages and abilities, as this is what contributes to a truly vibrant community.
Through our crowdgranting model, we are able to partner with incredible organizations, like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) that is investing in accessibility through the Public Spaces Community Places (PSCP) program. Beginning in late 2022, we announced that PSCP will be allocating additional incentives for projects that focus on universal accessibility of public spaces. Most public spaces can be enhanced if they are created with the intent to be accessible for all users. PSCP will offer an additional (up to) $25,000 match for new public space projects that are universally designed. This is in addition to the maximum $50,000 match provided for the activation of new public spaces. The program will now also be available to existing public spaces that are upgrading with universal design elements and applicants can request up to a $50,000 1:1 match to make these spaces more accessible to all. Learn more about the PSCP program expansion at www.patronicity.com/puremichigan.
In 2017, the Town of Cicero launched a crowdfunding campaign to create an accessible kayak and canoe launch to support water recreation to all individuals on the Morse Reservoir. The reservoir, a popular public amenity, was loved by the community, but lacked a boat launch. The project quickly reached its initial goal of $7,500, ahead of the deadline, and created a stretch goal to develop a paved pathway to the launch site from the access trail. The project also included adding lighting and signage and creating additional parking. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the Creating Places crowdgranting program, a partnership with the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA).
In 2016, the Detroit Community Technology Project partnered with three community anchor organizations and launched the Equitable Internet Initiative (EII). The effort was developed to respond to decades-long disinvestment and digital redlining that has left many Detroiters without access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet.
In 2022, the group launched the Community Internet crowdfunding campaign to activate an underused solar charging station in the Islandview neighborhood. The project budget included benches and tables below two solar-powered, wifi-enabled device charging stations, signage, garbage and recycling bins, and the cost of installation. The project fulfills the goal of EII by increasing internet access in underserved neighborhoods. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the PSCP crowdgranting program, a partnership with the MEDC.
In 2022, the Community Foundation of Marquette County launched a crowdfunding campaign to rebuild the Kids Cove playground to create an all inclusive playground for children of all ability to play together, laugh together, and grow healthy together. With an overall budget of $1.4 million, the PSCP crowdfunding program was used to close the gap on their overall fundraising goal.
The project created eight play zones for all ages and abilities including a quiet zone, toddler zone, and many traditional playscapes including climbing, swinging, and spinning zones. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the PSCP crowdgranting program, a partnership with the MEDC.
The Clinton River Watershed Council launched the MacArthur Park: Clinton River Project crowdfunding campaign to create a universally accessible kayak and canoe launch in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. The project was one of our first universal accessibility projects on Patronicity and was created as part of WaterTowns™, a water-oriented community development initiative, as a way to connect and enhance public access to the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.
The project was defined as a key catalyst to support Mt. Clemens’ city master plan to improve connectivity between the riverfront and the downtown area. The project also focused on improving facilities by adding universally accessible restrooms, a universally accessible picnic table with charging station, kayak storage and lockers, enhanced pedestrian connections to the boardwalk, wayfinding and interpretive signage, public art, and improved parking facilities. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the PSCP crowdgranting program, a partnership with the MEDC.
In 2021, Bike Stonington launched a crowdfunding campaign to help elderly and less mobile citizens one bike ride at a time. The campaign aimed to raise funds to purchase a Van Raam “Chat” trishaw and establish a Cycling Without Age (CWA) chapter in Connecticut. The CWA’s mission is to improve the lives of older and less mobile people in the greater Stonington and Mystic community, bringing them the joy and healthy benefits of getting outdoors for a bike ride and feeling the wind in their hair. The program is operated entirely by volunteers and offers free bike rides at care homes and senior centers. The project hopes to improve health and well-being and tackle loneliness. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the Community Match Fund crowdgranting program, a partnership with Sustainable CT.
In 2022, Roundabout Books launched a crowdfunding campaign to install an elevator at their location to create an accessible bookstore for all. Roundabout Books is an independent new and used bookstore in Greenfield, Massachusetts. They started their business in 2012, and in 2021, they purchased a building built in 1890. The renovations include handicap accessible ramps, accessible entrances and bathrooms, but the elevator posed a large financial commitment for the business. Crowdfunding allowed Roundabout Books to call on their community to help them create a space for individuals of all ages and abilities. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the Biz-M-Power crowdgranting program, a partnership with Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation.
Indy Reads launched a crowdfunding campaign to open their doors even wider! The crowdfunding campaign aimed to install an ADA-compliant front door, upgrade and renovate the public bathroom, relocate their stage area for better accessibility, and make various other improvements throughout the space.
Indy Reads empowers adults and their families through English literacy and job readiness programs. After more than 38 years of providing English literacy services to Hoosiers, the organization fundraised to make their new home in the Fountain Square neighborhood more accessible, so that everyone can come together in one space to celebrate the joy of reading. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the Creating Places crowdgranting program, a partnership with the IHCDA.
The ODC Network (ODC) designed a new multi-age, family friendly, state-of-the art, nature play and learning park for the Window on the Waterfront Park (WOW). ODC launched a crowdfunding campaign for the park to close the gap on their large project budget of $350,000. The project includes fully accessible looping walking paths and a myriad of features that make the space accessible to people of all abilities. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the PSCP crowdgranting program, a partnership with the MEDC.
The Windsor Public Library launched a crowdfunding campaign to improve the accessibility of their space to better serve the community of Windsor, Vermont. The campaign aimed to replace a winding staircase with a safer landing, add a lift to allow access to the lower level that has been inaccessible to those unable to navigate the stairs, and modify the existing bathroom for increased accessibility. By reaching their goal, the project received a 2:1 matching grant from the Better Places Vermont crowdgranting program, a partnership with the Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD).
In 2016, the Bradley Street Bike Co-op (BSBC) was founded with the goal to provide more equitable, accessible, and sustainable transportation in New Haven, CT. Connecticut Community Bicycle Workshop (CCBW), operated out of the Co-Op, is a donation based bicycle program that recognizes the importance of accessible transportation in disadvantaged communities. The Workshop has been able to maintain its donation program through the support of volunteers and the BSBC.
COVID-19 put new financial strains on the organization which resulted in the need to supplement community support with additional funding. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, having access to safe, reliable, and affordable transportation became more important than ever.
The organization’s crowdfunding campaign aimed to recycle and donate 100 bicycles to people in New Haven in need of safe and affordable transportation. By reaching their goal, the project received a matching grant from the Community Match Fund crowdgranting program, a partnership with Sustainable CT.