Royal Oak Seeks Crowdfunding for Smart Park (video)

ScottWrightadTOPRoyal Oak Seeks Crowdfunding essentialfor Smart Park (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 18, 2015)

Once upon a time there was a dirty, uninviting little space between a parking structure and a dumpster. This little plot of land held patchy grass and dust, sometimes storage. But then a series of events changed the space and inspired Royal Oak’s newest vision: The Smart Park.

The idea is to take the city-owned space at Center and 4th Street and create an outdoor space ctechadwith seating, free wifi, phone charging stations, public art, green landscaping,covered bicycle parking and kid-welcoming play spaces.

“We did a couple of events where we closed off Center Street, and we put the picnic tables in that lot all chained together for storage. But what happened was people started using them. Even though they were all chained in one spot, people started coming there for lunch,” said Director of Community Engagement Judy Davids. “It was a space people wanted to be, so we want to make it as welcoming as it can be.”lisa schmidt law

The result is a design that incorporates many community needs. But the thing about the project is that it’s not coming from the City coffers. The Royal Oak Smart Park is being funded with an online crowdfunding campaign, where individuals and businesses can chip in, with various levels of recognition based on donation amount.

Their goal is to raise $60,000, and if successful that money will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  They have one month to meet their goal.

To promote the Smart Park idea, they’ve set up a crowdfunding site at: And they’ve made a very adorable video, with the voice of a six year old telling the park’s tale.

Royal Oak Smart Park from Smark Park on Vimeo.

To donate go to:


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