Government, Nonprofits, and Sustainability

County receives $400K grant for Millennium Park

November 25, 2016
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The Meadows at Millennium Park boardwalk
A boardwalk travels through The Meadows at Millennium Park. Courtesy Kent County

A $400,000 grant from a local family foundation will aid Kent County’s efforts to preserve wetlands at Millennium Park.

The gift comes on the heels of the recently opened The Meadows, a $3.5 million, 50-acre addition to Millennium Park that opened in Walker, at 1415 Maynard Ave. SW, this summer.

The grant is from the Grand Rapids-based Bill and Bea Idema Foundation and will go toward creating a wetlands restoration project at The Meadows.

Specifically, the donation will transform a former gravel pit to expand and naturalize a lake, produce wetlands and create trail access and observation points.

The Idema donation was first discussed after Bea Idema toured The Meadows this summer while it was still under construction.

Jim Saalfeld, Kent County board chair, said public-private partnerships have helped Kent County provide park users with “endless recreational opportunities and experiences.”

“I am so appreciative for the Bill and Bea Idema Foundation for what they have done, and continue to do, for our community,” he said.

Millennium Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S. and one of 42 properties within the county’s park system.

The Bill and Bea Idema Foundation has previously provided gifts to the John Ball Zoo for the development of the Forest Realm, among many other projects and donations.

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