Saturday, May 5, 2012
MI Market is Back!
As of today (May 5, 2012), the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids is back in action with its new covered structure. There will be no more ducking as the farmers poke their overhead tarps with brooms to clear them of rainwater. You know – you have been there!
I stopped by for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guests included Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss, Rockford Construction Project Manager Tim Marcus, Architect Ted Lott, Midtown Neighborhood Association Board President Mark Stoddard, Market Manager Melissa Harrington, FSFM Development Project Manager Christine Helms-Maletic, market vendors Case Visser and John Platte, and Campaign Chairperson Diane Griffin.
The fundraising campaign, called Our Goodness is Growing has successfully raised over 90% of the funds needed for the significant renovations and upgrades to the Farmers Market. These funds allowed the Midtown Neighborhood Association, which manages the city- owned property, to replace the storm-water retention system, rebuild a 75-year-old retaining wall, re- grade the site for wheelchair accessibility and remove 4,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil, all as a first phase of the improvement project. During Phase II, MNA added an all-new, open-air shed area for vendor stalls with multiple plumbing and electrical fixtures; re-configured the traffic flow of the parking areas with a turn-around area at the north end; and built a new plaza area with separate space for seating, bike storage, and hot food vending. The Silver Spork food truck was there this morning to feed shoppers.
Fundraising for a planned Phase III continues in order to raise the money needed to construct a year- round building to allow the public to enjoy locally grown, wholesome foods throughout the winter. Another $225,000 must be raised for the construction of the year-round building and additional north-end restrooms. The opportunity to sponsor a brick or a paver for the Fulton Street Farmers Market has re-opened for a second round of orders to be installed mid-summer. Order forms are available at the Market office, and contributions can be made on-line at www.ourgoodnessisgrowing.org.
Below are photos of the event -- and of the brick that I purchased in support of the market. It honors my mother.