It’s time to celebrate a newly revitalized event space Downtown, Marion! Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County has been working closely with the City of Marion to revamp one of the largest City-owned public/private parking lots at 5th and Washington Streets into a multipurpose outdoor space for the community, now called the 5th Street Commons. TFTGC’s Quality of Life and Place working group activated a plan in 2017 to improve the existing lot based on the goals of the Marion 2030 Comprehensive Plan.
The work took place in two phases. In October of 2018, a paved gathering spot with landscaping and seating was completed in the lot near Washington St. In the spring and summer of 2019, a mirrored gathering spot was created on the Adams St. side; the entire lot was repaved, striped and renumbered; lighting was added and updated; electrical boxes were installed for event use; and new landscaping including freshly planted trees now encompass the rejuvenated space. TFTGC and the City of Marion contracted work with Dave’s Excavating, Interior Jungle, Rex Collins, and Indiana Michigan Power, and received in-kind/in-house assistance from the City of Marion’s Citywide Maintenance, Engineering & Traffic, and Community Development Departments as well as the Building Commissioner and Arborist. The project was completed by the end of June, 2019 within the desired timeline.
The project would not have been completed without local donations and grants as well as matching funding from the State of Indiana. TFTGC Executive Director, Cathy Weatherspoon, led a crowdfunding effort which raised over $29,000. This achieved a matching grant of $27,000 through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s ‘Patronicity’ program. The Community Foundation of Grant County also awarded the project with a grant of over $10,000. Many other generous donations were received from various groups and individuals, and some contractors made commitments of large value to help implement and sustain the 5th Street Commons.
Mayor Jess Alumbaugh stated, “This project is a great example of what the community can accomplish when working together to reach a common goal. The 5th Street Commons enhances our quality of place and serves as a space for community members to gather together and share with one another.”
To celebrate the success and collaboration, the community is invited to a Ribbon Cutting for the 5th Street Commons on Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 at 6:30pm. Live music by the Ronald Morrell Trio will start the evening around 6pm. The Ribbon Cutting will take place at 6:30pm following by a live open-air performance of Othello by the Shakespearian repertory group, Hoosier Shakes, beginning at 7:30pm. There will be a ‘talk back’ session about the play led by TFTGC’s Leadership and Engagement working group. Cupcakes and non-alcoholic sparkling drinks will be offered at the celebration. The event is free, and the public is encouraged to come and bring friends and family. There is ample parking surrounding the event space.
Outside normal leased parking hours, you are invited to reserve the 5th Street Commons for an evening or weekend event of your own! At this time, there is no charge to reserve the space. You may contact Janet Pearson with the City of Marion at (765) 382‑3774 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find more information.
Weatherspoon hopes the venue will draw diverse events such as outside church functions or services, dance performances, and more. It is already being booked for community events. Look for upcoming events at venues including the 5th Street Commons at www.DoGrantCounty.com.
About Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County:
Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County is a Collective Impact process that enables Grant County community members to address complex social issues through cross-sector participation within the three networks of Community Development, Family Well-Being, and Talent Pipeline.
Janet Pearson, Dep. Director of Development Services, City of Marion: 765.382.3774 / email@example.com
Cathy F. Weatherspoon, MS, Exec. Director, TFTGC: 765.662.0065 / firstname.lastname@example.org