SOCA Announces Spruce Up Grant Winners

LANSING – Today the Saginaw Oakland Commercial Association (SOCA) awarded three Lansing businesses $500 grants to make improvements to their properties, part of a larger initiative to improve the appearance of the Saginaw Street and Oakland Avenue corridor. Landscape Architects and Planners, Eightfold Creative, and the Ingham County Animal Outreach Center were all awarded the funds this morning at SOCA’s monthly Business Breakfast.

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of the Spruce Up Grant, said Ashley Hayes, Volunteer Coordinator at the Ingham County Animal Outreach Center at 826 W. Saginaw Street. “The Outreach Center is completely funded by donations, so receiving these funds allows us to make improvements to the exterior of the building that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. We hope the improvements will make it more inviting and accessible to our visitors and volunteers.”

The Spruce Up Grant Program is a new placemaking initiative open to business members of SOCA. Grant funds are for exterior improvements, including painting, signage, landscaping, and other visible exterior improvements. Grantees must complete any and all improvements by September 15, 2015. Projects include:

  • Landscape Architects and Planners plans to improve landscaping at its Oakland Center headquarters, located along Oakland Avenue at 809 Center Street.
  • Eightfold Creative plans to plant two new street trees and make landscaping and signage imrpovements at their 222 W. Genesee Street location.
  • The Ingham County Animal Outreach Center plans to add a screened front door and replace an unsafe and dilapidated porch at their property at 826 W. Saginaw Street.

“This grant will make a big difference for our commercial property,” said Bob Ford, President at Landscape Architects and Planners. “We think our project will make the Oakland Avenue corridor a more attractive place to do business.”

“As a start up business, we are excited to be welcomed like this to Lansing, “ said Patrick Dowdle of Eightfold Creative. ”It’s nice to know that SOCA is so supportive of small businesses!”

Check back at to see the final results!