The St. Joseph County Commission On Aging is close to reaching its goal set through a crowdfunding campaign to help create an outdoor park as well as a public space inside the former Three Rivers Inn.
Above and beyond the $4.6 million in renovations to the hotel itself, which led to the creation of a senior center and 46 independent-senior apartments, the campaign will allow the COA to revitalize outdoor space around the hotel into a park-like setting.
COA executive director Tim Stoll said the $50,000 goal is just a few thousand dollars short, with the deadline set for Friday. If the financial mark is met or exceeded, a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be offered.
Stoll said funds from the campaign will be used to develop walking paths and landscaping, install outdoor fitness stations, build a gazebo, purchase park benches and resurface a multi-use activity court for sports such as pickleball.
The campaign also includes an indoor component, turning the old “holidome” area of the hotel into a public gathering place, complete with a water feature and seating.
Donations can be made directly on the crowdfunding website, which is patronicity.com/coa, or donations can be made at the COA headquarters.