Grand Rapids upgrades eight parks
Construction is beginning this week to improve eight Grand Rapids parks.
The parks receiving upgrades are Cherry, Fuller, Garfield, Highland, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Westown Commons and Wilcox parks.
While the type of improvements will vary at each park, the reconstruction plans include updating inoperable, outdated and inaccessible equipment and facilities.
Plans include replacing or restoring restrooms, drinking fountains and playgrounds.
Six of the parks will see the addition of new water playgrounds or splash pads.
Other possible improvements include playground expansion, installation of rain gardens, walking paths, path lighting, benches, improved green space, hard surface courts and fields and tree plantings.
The amenities are expected to be ready for use by mid August.
Revenue generated from the voter-approved parks millage, approved in November 2013, will fund the improvements.
The dedicated property millage for parks, pools and playgrounds generates about $4 million annually.
Neighbors living near each park participated in design workshops this past fall, which were hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department, along with the Parks and Recreation advisory board and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
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 two local design firms, VIRIDIS Design Group and Progressive AE.
The Parks and Recreation Five-year Master Plan and the Green Grand Rapids Master Plan outline many of the current needed park improvements.
The next master plan update will capture future needs.
Concept plans for Grand Rapids parks are online.