see our values in action
Each of Friends’ programs helps us increase equal access to the outdoors and
empower people to cultivate vibrant parks, trees, and green spaces.
Matching volunteers with neighborhood parks
Our Adopt-a-Park program matches volunteer stewards with a neighborhood park to lead year-round care. These volunteers host four projects per year, doing things like removing invasive species, beautifying flowerbeds, and cleaning up playgrounds.
Free and accessible classes led by industry experts
Friends provides training that helps neighbors become knowledgeable in tree planting, maintenance, and identification. We also partner with experts to offer special workshops on topics of interest, such as common Michigan insets, invasive species, and green infrastructure.
Green Your Block
free tree program for neighborhoods
The Green Your Block program awards funding for planting projects ranging from 10-30 trees within the city of Grand Rapids. Our Urban Forest team assists with site selection, tree ordering and delivery, and planning for the tree planting project.
Exposing people to new activities in nature
The Outdoor Adventures event series exists to grow inclusion in outdoor activities and prioritizes engagement of community members who may not have previously experienced the featured outdoor activity (i.e. kayaking on the Grand, trekking on park trails, snowshoeing, fat tire biking).
Providing pathways for youth to become change agents
Friend’s Green Team is a paid summer employment program for youth ages 16-20. Members care for newly planted trees while building job skills and being exposed to environmental careers. We also offer hands-on learning opportunities that can be requested by parents, teachers, and even scout troop leaders (activities meet badge requirements!).