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June 2013


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Serendipite Organiques One Year Anniversary to Benefit FGRP - June 5 - June 8

Parks Alive Work Day - Coit and Cheseboro- June 8

Citizen Forester Class - Tree Identification  - June 12

Green Gala 2013 tickets on sale - August 22

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Word from the Director


Neighbors for Parks, Pools and Playgrounds (NP3) committee to advance campaign for dedicated funding for our parks.

Millage Sought for Grand Rapids Parks - MLIVE

Tax ask for Grand Rapids parks: 0:98 -mill for 7 years

Leading cities around the world invest in their public parks because these assets enrich much more than property values. They help improve citizen health and well-being, provide kids with places to play, build up civic pride, promote environmental stewardship, and improve quality of life, which is essential to attract residents, visitors, and employers.

Sadly, a decade of cost-cutting and budget stagnation in the City of Grand Rapids has resulted in historic under-funding of parks and deferral of basic investment in the parks, pools, and playgrounds that all Grand Rapidians use and value.

American cities on average annually invest $49 per capita in parks operations, Grand Rapids now annually invests less than $19 per capita and nearly $0 on capital expenditures.

City staff in many ways performs better than we might expect given current funding levels and our community has stepped up repeatedly to volunteer, sponsor, and support these public assets. Importantly, the City has conducted in-depth parks department reviews to evaluate and improve efficiency, boost productivity, and eliminate waste. Bottom line: we will not cut our way any further to a better parks system. The major limitation is funding.

We as a community must identify and secure new revenue if we intend to offer a quality parks system. Without renewed financial commitment, we will continue to preside over the ongoing decline of our valuable parks system and the cost of maintenance and repairs will only grow larger.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is enthusiastically working with the Neighbors for Parks, Pools and Playgrounds to ensure that their committee has good information about the park system -building on our four years of experience and studies- clearly identifies challenges and opportunities,  presents credible and reasonable solutions, and forms the community connections necessary to advance the critical campaign for dedicated funding to begin rebuilding our park system assets.

Great parks make a great city!

Thank You!


What an amazing month of great volunteers and park enthusiasts coming out to support our public spaces!

 Thank you to all the volunteer groups and the City of Grand Rapids for your help on May projects:

  • Reforest Riverside
  • Roosevelt Park Clean-up group (Andrea Lubberts)
  • The Other Way/DeVries Properties/Katerberg Verhage/Masterpiece Floral - Canal/6th St Park Flower Planting
  • Foster Park BBB Clean-up
  • BBB Tree maintenance
  • Wilcox Park Clean-up
  • Green Well Cherry Park Clean-up
  • East Hills Tree Planting
  • Garfield Park Tree Planting
  • Plante Moran Fish Ladder Park Clean-up

 If you want to volunteer, set up a neighborhood Parks Alive Leadership (PALs) for your local park,  or sponsor park improvements, please contact our Project Coordinator to set something up.


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