September 24, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 224

Depot Park project earns MML award

DETROIT — The revitalization of Ironwood’s Depot Park was honored with the Michigan Municipal League’s 2013 Community Excellence Award over the weekend.

Submitted photo
CITY OF Ironwood officials accept a Michigan Municipal League award for the Depot Park project Friday in Detroit. From left are community development director Michael Brown, Mayor Kim Corcoran, commissioner Rick Semo, clerk Karen Gullan and city manager Scott Erickson.

Ironwood officials accepted the award at the MML’s annual convention in Detroit.

The peer-nominated Community Excellence Award, called “The Race for the Cup,” was initiated by the MML in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships.

It’s the highest and most prestigious award bestowed by the MML.

Ironwood’s effort centered on revitalization of the railroad depot into a park. The plan to merge city blocks, add a pavilion, playground equipment, landscaping, volleyball courts, and other amenities was undertaken to promote health, history, and recreation.

The park will also serve as a trailhead for non-motorized and motorized trails crossing the region.

Ironwood Mayor Kim Corcoran accepted the award, which includes a large trophy and statewide recognition.

In the seven-year history of CEA competition, Ironwood is the first recipient from the U.P.

“I was very happily surprised for our community to win the Cup,” Corcoran said. “I was thinking we were a small community and I didn’t know if we stood a chance of getting this, but it’s a very big deal for us.

“This award helps put us on the map — from the PR we get from this and for our project. It shows what our community has to offer. We believe the positive recognition of receiving this award will increase awareness of the great things that Ironwood and the U.P. have to offer,”

Corcoran said. “Many thanks go out to all who helped out and especially the volunteers,” Corcoran said Monday night.

City manager Scott Erickson said all of the communities attending the meeting voted on the award and Ironwood was awarded the traveling trophy.

Ironwood competed for the statewide title against finalists from the MML’s six other regions: Other projects included:

—Region 1: Fenton, Holly, and Linden’s Shiawassee River Heritage Water Trail. —Region 2: St. Joseph’s Silver Beach development.

—Region 3: Belding’s community garden.

—Region 4: DeWitt’s Community Showcase.

—Region 5: Imlay City’s SEED economic gardening program.

—Region 6: Rogers City’s Dancin’ Downtown.