Consumers Energy donates $50k for small-town development

JACKSON–Michigan communities in Oscoda, Livingston and Gratiot counties are receiving a total of $50,000 for projects designed to make smaller Michigan communities better places to live and work after winning the Consumers Energy Foundation’s 2021 “Put Your Town on the Map” competition.

Comins Township in Oscoda County received $25,000 for first place, Pinckney received $15,000 as runner-up, and Alma received $10,000. Other finalists included projects in Clare, Fowlerville, Galesburg, Manistee, Marshall, Sanford and Vassar.

“Small and rural towns are an integral part of the fabric that makes up our great state, which is why Consumers Energy is proud to champion programs like the ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ competition to transform and revitalize communities,” said Roger Curtis, vice president of public affairs for Consumers Energy. “We were delighted to receive nearly 100 submissions from across the state for projects that strive to enhance communities and engage residents.”

A panel of judges chose the three winning projects Wednesday after officials from the 10 finalist communities made presentations at the 2021 Small Town and Rural Development Conference led by the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, or CEDAM.

The winning projects are:

* Comins Township – First place, $25,000. Funding will be used to create a diverse public square designed for community events and tourism promotion.
* Pinckney – Second place, $15,000. Vacant land will be turned into an accessible community garden project that will create a public gathering space.
* Alma – Third place, $10,000. The city will use the funds to create usable art spaces and establish an art corridor in the downtown area.

Consumers Energy created the Put Your Town on the Map competition to reward ideas and provide critical dollars for projects that are being developed in small towns throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Communities with a population of up to 10,000 were eligible.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $19 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to

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