about friends

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.

learn about our programs →

Our Mission

To empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, green spaces, and trees in our community.

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Our Vision

Thriving parks and sustainable urban forest that actively support our community’s economic, environmental, and cultural health.

Our Values


for people &
the planet


with team &


in parks, trees, green champions, and team


justice, equity, diversity, & inclusion in the outdoors


is essential for the
well-being of all

Our Programs