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Berrien Community Foundation awards $190,000 in For Good Grants

Berrien Community Foundation’s recent For Good Grant awards totaling $190,000 are giving a boost in funding to projects that benefit families and communities across Berrien County, and this time, dogs, too.

One of these projects is the construction of a dog park in an underutilized part of the 13-acre Hays Park in Watervliet.

“I’m excited about the impact this dog park will have on our parks system and our community,” City of Watervliet Mayor Deah Muth said. “This was one of the highest-rated park improvements cited from the survey conducted as part of our latest parks and rec plan.”

FUNDS SUPPORT… Paw Paw Lake Rotary’s Trina Gruszczyk (left) and Berrien Community Foundation Program Director Susan Matheny pose with a giant For Good Grant check. The $1,500 grant has been awarded to the city of Watervliet and the Rotary Club towards the Dog Park being added to Hays Park in Watervliet. (Contributed photo)

The highly-desired amenity is being supported by the city, Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club and the State Department of Natural Resources. Fundraising efforts are still ongoing, but Muth expects the dog park to open sometime in late spring.

“Times are tough and many people in our community are struggling,” said BCF Program Director Susan Matheny. “This round of grants support projects that address basic needs, get us quality time with our families, help support persons with disabilities and much more. It is our great honor to support the agencies who do this work, and encourage them to keep bringing these innovative and vital projects to Berrien County.”

For Good Grants are awarded twice a year. Each cycle, applications are reviewed by community volunteers and T.E.A.M. (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds), the youth advisory committee for BCF. Requests cover a broad range of community needs including the arts, children, community development, education, environment, health, seniors, and youth leadership and development. In addition, BCF partners with donor advised fund holders to meet funding requests.

The full list of For Good Grants recipients are: Benton Harbor Community Development Corporation; Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety; Berrien County Blanket Brigade; Berrien County Cancer Service; CASA of Southwest Michigan, Inc.; Citadel Dance & Music Center; City of Buchanan/Buchanan Tree Friends; City of Watervliet and Paw Paw Lake Rotary Club; Feeding America West Michigan; First Congregational UCC; Friends of New Troy; Harbor Country Emergency Food Pantry; Harbor Country Opera; Harbor Impact Foundation, Inc.; Harbor of Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church; PACE of Southwest Michigan; Present Pillars; Redbud Area Ministries; Region IV Area Agency on Aging; Ronald McDonald House Charities of Indiana-Michiana; Senior Nutrition Services/Meals On Wheels of Southwest Michigan; Southwest Michigan Planning Commission; Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra; Spectrum Community Services; Temple B’nai Shalom; The Region of Three Oaks Museum; Watervliet Free Methodist Church.

For Good Grants awarded by T.E.A.M. went to Lincoln Township Library and OutCenter Southwest Michigan.

There are two grant cycles of the For Good Grants every year. Applications for the next round are due Feb. 28, 2023. For questions or more information, contact BCF Program Director Susan Matheny at



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