The Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors® received a $2,500 Placemaking grant from the National Association of Realtors® to help make Village of Baroda a better place to live and work by transforming an unused space into vibrant place for the community to gather and enjoy.

The grant is intended to help Realtor Associations partner with others to plan, organize, implement and maintain Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Placemaking projects in their communities.

The grant from Southwestern Michigan Association of Realtors® will be used to provide fencing and landscaping materials to build and beautify a dog park on the south side of the Village Park, next to the tennis courts.

Tina Boehm, Township Clerk, explained, “We have a beautiful park by Hickory Creek that draws a lot of visitors. Quite a few of the people have dogs and it would be great to have a place for them to let their dog run and play. By having a dog park, it will draw more people to exercise their dogs and enjoy the other amenities the park has to offer.”

Boehm continued, “Dogs are more and more becoming integral parts of the family. Most people treat them like one of their children and are looking for activities to enjoy with them. It will definitely lead to social connections. Judging by the amount of people that walk their dogs in the village, I see a great demand for this project.,”

Paul Dumke, Broker/Owner, Integrity R.E. Professionals Lakeshore, Stevensville was the Realtor sponsor for the Village of Baroda Dog Park grant. Dumke explained the reason for his endorsement, “This community has become an attraction as well as a sought-after place for primary residence and second home families. Being an older historic community, most off the hones are on very small lots, therefore making the dog park so important to the health and wellbeing of the animals. It also will allow people and families to enjoy the park to its fullest.

“Realtors® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them,” said Robert Kaufman, President of the Southwestern Michigan Association of REALTORS®, Inc.

“Placemaking can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities. It creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better. This grant will allow us to address areas in our community that need enhancement and revitalization and create a place where friends and neighbors can come together.”