Government, Real Estate, and Sustainability

Millennium Park opens 50-acre expansion

July 29, 2016
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The Meadows at Millennium Park boardwalk
A boardwalk travels through The Meadows at Millennium Park. Courtesy Kent County

A $3.5 million, 50-acre expansion at Millennium Park has been completed.

The Peter Secchia family, Bill Currie family, employees of Grand Rapids-based Universal Forest Products, members of the Kent County Board of Commissioners and local dignitaries were on hand today for the dedication of The Meadows at Millennium Park.

The site features The William F. Grant Pavilion, Currie Family Amphitheater and Employees of Universal Forest Products Boardwalk, as well as links to an existing trail system and an expansive lawn area for public events.

The Grant Pavilion can seat 300 people and features a 4,300-square-foot plaza overlooking one of the park’s spring-fed lakes.

The Currie Amphitheater provides an opportunity for the park to host a variety of events, such as small concerts, corporate outings and more.

The Grant Pavilion was named in honor of William F. Grant Sr., who founded Universal Forest Products in 1955 and was Peter Secchia’s mentor when he was hired in 1962.

“William Grant was a wonderful man whom everyone liked, and I am elated to have the opportunity to honor him with this wonderful pavilion that is set among contributions from the entire Universal Forest Products family, including the Currie family and all of its employees,” Secchia said.

The Currie Amphitheater was named in honor of Bill Currie, executive chairman of the board for Universal Forest Products, who also served as the company’s president and CEO, as well as vice chairman of the board.

Jim Saalfeld, chair of the Kent County Board of Commissioners, said The Meadows is an impressive addition to Millennium Park that will provide considerable space and amenities for public use.

“Kent County is incredibly fortunate to have the Secchia family as a major benefactor and biggest supporter of Millennium Park, which today stands as one of the largest land reclamation projects in Michigan — and perhaps in the Midwest,” Saalfeld said.

The Secchia family, which has been a lead contributor and fundraiser since Millennium Park’s inception 17 years ago, financed a majority of The Meadows, including construction of the pavilion, amphitheater and boardwalk.

The Currie family provided $100,000 toward construction of the amphitheater.

Millennium Park is one of the nation's largest urban parks. The park is rich in natural resources, featuring habitats and large natural areas for wildlife to thrive.

Facilities within the park include a six-acre beach and splashpad, boat rental facilities, nearly 20 miles of trails, picnic shelter and a large playground.

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