Government and Sustainability

City concludes $4M parks renovation

September 9, 2015
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Wilcox Park
Wilcox Park is located in Grand Rapids' Eastown neighborhood. Photo via fb.com

The final six of eight Grand Rapids parks that received upgrades this summer will reopen to the public on Thursday.

City officials will celebrate the reopening of Fuller, Garfield, Highland, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Wilcox Parks on Sept. 10 with a progressive trolley tour of all six parks.

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt will be in attendance.

The eight parks received a total of nearly $4 million in upgrades, which included new splash pads, play equipment, restroom facility upgrades, concrete sidewalks, benches, bike loops, drinking fountains and landscaping improvements.

Cherry and Westown Commons Parks reopened last month to combined improvements of $764,000 and are now enjoying a resurgence of popularity and usage over the past month, according to city officials.

Neighborhood involvement

Park improvements were based on the input of hundreds of residents who participated in design workshops that took place last fall.

Planning teams from neighborhoods nearest to the parks actively participated in creating and verifying park concept plans and identified priority improvement projects with the assistance of local design firms VIRIDIS Design Group and Progressive AE, according to Marquardt.

“I am confident that everyone who participated in those workshops, and those living in the neighborhoods surrounding each park, will be very pleased with the results,” Marquardt said.

Parks millage

The eight park improvement projects were made possible through a dedicated 0.98-mill parks measure approved by Grand Rapids voters on Nov. 5, 2013. The seven-year millage provides approximately $4 million annually for repair, rehabilitation and new improvements to parks, pools, and playgrounds.

2016 park upgrades

Six additional parks are slated for upgrades in 2016 and will undergo similar design processes.

Those parks on the drawing board for transformation include Campau, Camelot, Douglas, Dickinson, Mary Waters and Mulick.

Restored parks and amenities

Fuller-Hillcrest Park

Removal of existing wading pool

Install new splash pad water feature

Install new play equipment and play surfacing

Install new picnic shelter and picnic tables

Install new site furnishings (benches and drinking fountain)

Upgrade restroom facilities

Total cost: $509,000

Garfield Park

Install new multi-purpose futsal courts

Install new play equipment and play surfacing

Install new family picnic shelter and picnic tables

Install new site furnishings (grills, benches and drinking fountains)

Total cost: $454,000

Highland Park

Install new splash pad water feature

Install new play equipment and play surfacing

Install new bench seating

Install new walkways with lights

Total cost: $528,000

Lincoln Park

Install new splash pad water feature

Install new play equipment and play surfacing

Install new bench seating and drinking fountains

Total cost: $382,000

Roosevelt Park

Install new splash pad water feature

Install new bike loops, benches and drinking fountain

Construct new restroom facility

Total cost: $636,000

Wilcox Park

Removal of existing wading pool

Removal of old playground surfacing and slope protection

Install new splash pad water feature

Install new play surfacing and swings

Install new ornamental fencing, benches, bike loops and drinking fountain

Total cost: $563,000

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