By Mike Kruzman /

Many Livingston County municipalities have an opportunity at a grant that will help with community projects, including one that was a recipient of the award last year.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is bringing back its "Put Your Town on the Map" competition, in which 3 smaller Michigan communities will be selected for a share of a $50,000 award pool. The pitch-competition is for communities with a population of 10,000 residents or less, and will help them bring a project that could help them grow and thrive to life.

Last year, the Village of Pinckney was one of the Foundation’s award winners. The Village was awarded the second-place prize of $15,000 that was used to build an accessible community garden on vacant land. The first place pitch receives $25,000, and third place gets $10,000.

Consumers Energy Vice President of Public Affairs Roger Curtis said, in a release, that it is no secret the past 2 years have been challenging for everyone, and that they are proud to continue providing resources to help Michigan’s small and rural towns bring their big-idea-pictures to life.

When judging, the Foundation aims to reward ideas that attract visitors downtown, focus on housing, education or employment, create community pride, and more.

Community leaders can learn more and apply at