Howell Summit Gardens named best placemaking project by statewide association

Howell Summit Gardens in downtown Howell received two prestigious awards at the Michigan Downtown Association Conference held Nov. 4-5 in Detroit.

Located one block from Howell’s bustling downtown, Howell Summit Gardens (HSG) is a public gathering space for residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy. This project — a grass roots collaboration between Howell Main Street, the City of Howell, KABOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge, Thai Summit America, and many other community partners — brings recreation and a whimsical play space to a previously overgrown and underutilized space.

HSG opened to the public on Oct. 17, 2020, and since then has hosted many guests of all ages who enjoy ping pong, checkers, corn hole, and imaginative play in this creative space.

Not only did HSG win the Best Placemaking Project completed between October 2020 and September 2021, but the public showed its support through online voting as well, using Facebook likes to select HSG as the People’s Choice Award winner.

“Howell Summit Gardens is a true testament to the power of community and winning Best Placemaking Project is a huge honor for Howell,” said Kate Litwin, HMS COO and Howell DDA director. “I hope that everyone who had a role in this project feels a huge sense of accomplishment knowing they helped create an award-winning gem! It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a creative vision and a great group of people working together to bring it to life. Howell Summit Gardens is truly a place for all ages to play, relax, and enjoy the community spirit of downtown Howell.”

Howell City Manager Ervin Suida agreed.

“We are so proud of our community,” Suida said. “A vision by our Main Street program was made into reality through the collaboration of the entire community both public and private working together. A project that was done on time and due to the many contributions, donations, and volunteer hours served, Howell Summit Gardens was completed within budget. The most memorable part for me is this incredible space was designed and built during a global pandemic, bringing some joy and celebration to a difficult year.”

Howell Main Street Inc. is a unique blend of business and property owners, community leaders, entrepreneurs, residents, and visitors, all personally engaged in working together to support downtown Howell. The grass roots, volunteer-led organization blends innovation and creative approaches to positively position and grow Howell’s downtown through quality events, projects, preservation, and programming.

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