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Fifth Street Commons completed

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

One corner of downtown Marion is looking significantly more beautiful these days.

The Fifth Street Commons, a project of the Quality of Life and Place working group, has completed phase one of construction.

The small public area is situated on the corner of Washington Street and Fifth Street and features a four-foot stamped concrete bench and several flowerbeds.

Quality of Life and Place, part of the Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County network, was able to fund the Fifth Street Commons through a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County and a donation of materials and labor from the contractor who did the work.

However, the Quality of Life and Place group has more dreams for the space. Phase two of construction is in the works, contingent on the group being able to raise $27,000 through a crowdfunding campaign called Patronicity that will match the money they raise, one to one.

The crowdfunding campaign would allow the group to add brick pavers all the way around the peripheral of the park, among several other features that are still in discussion.

Kellie Engelman, co-chair of Quality of Life and Place, said she’s still aiming to have the entire project, including phase two, done by the end of the summer.

Cathy Weatherspoon also announced Wednesday that she is pursuing starting up a data working group so that the Thriving Families, Thriving Grant County network can share data sources and consolidate data more easily.

In addition, Weatherspoon said she is planning an initiative to bring more diverse voices to the table. She will be speaking at churches in the hopes of recruiting more racial minorities and lower income people to join Thriving Families working groups.