Interactive public art display along Northwestern Highway Pathway funded through MEDC grant and private donations
The city of Southfield is nearing completion of Red Pole Park, an interactive art installation located along the Northwestern Highway Shared-Use Pathway and Greenway in Southfield’s City Centre District. The project was funded through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity – receiving a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Public Spaces and Community Places program. No taxpayer money was used on this project.
Red Pole Park is the first installation in a series of outdoor “rooms” or art installations planned along the Northwestern Highway Shared-Use Pathway and Greenway. Currently, 47 poles have been installed, with plans to install an additional 18 poles this summer. Once complete, dots will be painted along the pathway following the grid pattern of the poles. The various heights of the poles represent Southfield’s history, present goals, accomplishments and future growth.
“Our goal is to make Red Pole Park a can’t-miss attraction for those traveling up and down Northwestern Highway and the shared-use pathway,” stated City Planner Terry Croad. “We want to create a vibrant outdoor space for employees, students, residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Moving forward, the city submitted a grant to fund the purchase of blue, flashing, marine-grade lights to be installed on top of the poles, creating an interesting nighttime display. An additional 1,000 feet of sidewalk will also be added to the pathway this summer, extending the pathway to Lahser Road.
The Northwestern Highway Shared-Use Pathway and Greenway was created by converting an old goat path into a bike-walk accessible greenway to join a growing network of trails and sidewalks throughout Southfield. The pathway currently runs between Civic Center Drive and Corporate Drive. The ten-foot-wide pathway includes over one mile of paved surface area for bikers, walkers and runners as well as extensive landscaping and other pedestrian amenities, filling in a key gap in the City’s pathway system.
The city of Southfield and the MEDC successfully raised over $55,000 to create Red Pole Park. The campaign surpassed its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by August 4, 2017—earning the project a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. Additional funds were provided by the Southfield City Centre and city of Southfield’s Metro Act funds.
Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, MSHDA, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC.