Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is committed to engaging our community in the betterment of our city’s
parks, trees, and green spaces through volunteerism, park activation, philanthropy and urban forestry.
A Brief History
During the recession of 2008, the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department experienced budget cuts, leading to downfalls in park maintenance.
A group of neighbors recognized that they had the ability to band together and address these needs – and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (or Friends, as we often call it) was born. At this time, volunteers often invested in basic park maintenance to keep these spaces open for children throughout the city.
Today, the City of Grand Rapids has a strong and thriving parks department, and Friends’ role has changed. We work in partnership with the department to meet the goals of the city’s Master Plan by creating stewards for parks and trees.
Our four pillars of action are volunteerism, urban forestry, park activation, and philanthropy.
We work with the community and city to plant, grow, and maintain parks, trees, and trails to ensure the healthiest city in North America! Our Mission directly supports the vision for the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation in creating and supporting a healthy, vibrant community. When we are successful, the community is successful!
Thriving parks and sustainable urban forest that actively support our community’s economic, environmental, and cultural health.
Our Strategic Goals
●Healthy Parks: est. $4.8 million adopt all 76 park units for cleaning and maintenance; develop and implement a work plan for invasive species control in 600 acres of natural areas in parks
●15,000 Trees: est. $12 million filling in half of the estimated 20,000 tree vacancies in the public right of way with an emphasis on neighborhoods with high tree vacancies and giving away another 5,000 trees for private property
●The Grand Loop: est. $2.3 million ensures 90%* of residents are no more than 10 blocks away from a dirt trail or bike park maximizing accessible trails for all
By The Numbers
YEARS IN REVIEW