Children Will Play on New Playscape at Lake Orion’s Lakefront Park Thanks to Grant

​Pontiac, Michigan  – The Village of Lake Orion, a member of Main Street Oakland County,  was one of 25 communities nationwide – and the only one in Michigan – to receive a $50,000 T-Mobile Hometown Grant. The village will use the grant to enhance Green’s Park with a new playscape and pavilion.

“The Village of Lake Orion is the only small town in Michigan to receive the first round of the nationwide T-Mobile Hometown Grants,” said John Bry, supervisor of Main Street Oakland County. “Molly LaLone, executive director of Lake Orion’s Downtown Development Authority, identified the grant opportunity and helped Village Councilmember Teresa Rutt, serving on the parks and recreation committee, begin the grant process last year.”

Rutt applied for the grant last June.”We are grateful to T-Mobile for the opportunity to invest in recreation space in a way that will improve the quality of life in our area by creating a gathering space for the community,” Rutt said. “This is the largest grant the committee has received during my eight plus years on the village’s parks and recreation committee.”

The grant will cover the cost of the playscape but not the estimated $15,000 installation costs. The additional costs include labor, tools, equipment, concrete, unloading and sorting materials, prepping the site, providing safety and landscape restoration. Rutt said the parks and recreation committee will schedule a “Community Build Day” in the spring of 2022 to help defer these expenses. To volunteer, contact the Village Hall at 248-693-8391. Look for updates on the village website at

The village’s Department of Public Works will help, and an engineer from Penchura, LLC, Brighton, Mich., will be on hand to make sure their Tree Tops playscape is installed to appropriate specifications. Green’s Park is two acres with 560 feet of frontage on Lake Orion. It is the only one of the village’s six parks with lake access.

T-Mobile’s Hometown Grants are designed to help jumpstart community development projects and reenergize small towns, building upon what makes them unique. T-Mobile partnered with Main Street

America and Smart Growth America, two consulting partners with a combined experience of more than 60 years working to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. Together, they determined the grant recipients based on several factors, including detail and fullness of the submission, community impact and viability of the project.

“These incredible projects spark innovation, ingenuity and hard work that have always been the hallmark of our nation’s small towns,” said Jon Freier, executive vice president of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group. “From beautifying historic Main Streets to building all-new retail spaces, pop-ups and parks, this is part of our commitment to rural America. We can’t wait to see all these creative plans come to life.”

This group of 25 communities is just the first round of recipients. T‑Mobile has committed $25 million to small town grants over the next five years and plans to award Hometown Grants on a quarterly basis to towns with populations of less than 50,000. For more information on applying, visit:

Since 2006, the Lake Orion DDA has been a MSOC nationally accredited community. Its mission is to enhance the economic potential and preserve the historical character of the Lake Orion DDA District, the heart and hub of the Orion Community, through promotional activities and an organizational structure that focuses on community involvement with local businesses, residents, and other stakeholders.

To date, nearly $963 million in public and private investments have been made to Main Street downtowns, establishing 1,254 new businesses, and generating 8,303 jobs. Oakland County is the first and only county in the U.S. to operate a full-service, countywide Main Street coordinating program. MSOC has 25 designated communities currently in the program.

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