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 Mid-October 2013 Special Edition


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Yes! GR Parks needs your help to get out the vote in November


Yes GR Parks
Over the next couple weeks, volunteers are needed to knock doors, make calls, put up signs, and get the word out about this historic vote for the future of our parks!  Visit to sign up.

On November 5th, the citizens of Grand Rapids will be asked to vote for a short-term property millage that will annually generate nearly $4 million in dedicated funding to repair and improve our neighborhood parks, playgrounds, and pools.

The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks has officially endorsed the Yes! GR Parks campaign, and we are joined by many other groups and individuals that see this as a smart investment for our future.  Both the MLIVE Editorial Board and Grand Rapids Business Journal have written in support of the parks millage in the last two weeks.

Please consider helping the Yes!current condition photos GR Parks campaign and the organizing committee Neighbors for Parks, Pools & Playgrounds (NP3) the next couple weeks leading up to November 5th.  

 Volunteers are needed to help canvas every day between now and the election. Visit to learn more, volunteer, download a window sign to show your support, or donate.

Here are some additional resources if you want more background information on this ballot measure.

Parks Ballot Frequently Asked Questions - City of Grand Rapids

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Statement on the Yes! GR Parks campaign

Why Parks Matter!

  Over the past two to three weeks, amazingHistoric Photos articles were written about our community parks.  Two weeks ago, Michael Tufflemire at the Rapidian released a three part series entitled "Why Parks Matter", describing the last 100 years of park development, the value of parks in urban redevelopment, and the current state of Grand Rapids' parks. 

Part I -Why Parks Matter: The History of Park in Grand Rapids

Part II - Why Parks Matter: How our Parks Affect City Life

Part III - Why Parks Matter: The Current Condition and How the Millage will Help

This series was followed up by a great article by Tim Gleisner of the Grand Rapids Public Library describing the value of parks as places where we connect with our past, "Parks as Place Makers Record our City's History".

Last week, Rapid Growth Media's Tommy Allen profiled Huff Park in his article, "Steps to Tomorrowland" urging our community to look toward the future of parks.

We hope you can take a few minutes out of your busy day to read these articles.  Parks are the topic of the day, and these pieces paint the picture of a vibrant past and hope for the future.

Tree Planting and NeighborWoods Celebration

Join Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP)  and many partners on Saturday, October 26th to celebrate trees by planting new ones and participating in a variety of activities. Tree Planting will occur from 9am-12pm and will be followed by a series of events designed to celebrate the benefit of trees to our community.
We will be meeting in the parking lot near the Bandshell Shelter (in the middle of the little league baseball fields).

Tree Planting, 9 am - 12 noon

Join us for a volunteer tree planting at 9 am.  We will be planting ~30 trees to celebrate NeighborWoods Month, a national celebration of the Alliance for Community Trees!

We will provide all of the tools, training and trees.  Dress for the weather and bring a bottle of water and snack.  Lunch will be provided for volunteers.  Register here.

Trick or Tree-O-Caching, 1 pm and 3 pm

All are welcome to join Friends of Grand Rapids Parks for Trick or Tree-O-Caching, an exciting urban adventure as part of the NeighborWoods Celebration.  Using handheld GPS units, participants will venture through Riverside Park as they are challenged to find trees with special treats and prizes. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the popular pastime of geocaching, while also learning about the economic value and importance of trees. Come along for a great time, and don't forget to dress for the weather. Halloween costumes are optional for added fun!

Teach for the Watershed, 1pm

Come see Teach for the Watershed demonstrate the Enviroscape while discussing the importance of riparian and buffer zones in protecting our water.

Teach for the Watershed (T4W) is an interactive watershed education program based on the new Michigan Science Curriculum standards. T4W provides tools to teachers and students that empower them to learn about, and take action to improve and protect, their watersheds and our Great Lakes. T4W is building the Next Generation of Great Lakes Advocates.

Tree Climbing Demonstration, 3pm

Canopy Tree, Inc will demonstrate proper tree climbing and trimming techniques.  Canopy Tree is a locally owned, Grand Rapids based tree care company.  The owner and professional climber, Matthew Kortenhoven, is an ISA Certified Arborist with more than 10 years of experience in the industry of arboriculture.

Location: Riverside Park


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