Park Maintenance

Large lawn mower driving through a greenspace surrounded by old growth trees

Our offices have moved

More Information

  • Recreation programs will continue at 201 Market Ave fitness studios through the March/April session
  • Parks, Recreation, Our Community’s Children,  Forestry, and Cemetery offices have relocated to 245 State Street SE
  • This is a temporary location while renovations take place at our new permanent location at 1500 Scribner Ave

Our park system is made up of over 2,000 acres of parkland spread across 75+ parks. Our maintenance team works to keep these important community spaces safe, clean and vibrant for everyone to enjoy.

Summer Maintenance



In the summer months, we mow 600 acres of grass across the park system. This work includes trimming around trees, shrubs, park amenities and buildings. We also aerate and fertilize areas that have high usage or visibility. 

Athletic Fields 

We have a variety of athletic fields in parks. We maintain 30 acres of athletic fields, including baseball, softball, rugby, and soccer fields. Athletic fields get mowed on a daily to weekly basis, depending on use. 

General Park Turf 

We mow general park turf less often than athletic fields. Our standard is to cut grass to a height of three inches on a regular basis, weather permitting. 

Low-Mow Areas 

Some of our parks feature low-mow areas, where we allow grass to grow more naturally. Low-mow areas have many benefits, including: 

  • Improving the biodiversity of a park
  • Reducing the spread of invasive plants
  • Aiding in erosion control 

We maintain low-mow areas as needed.

Pest and Invasive Species Management

When dealing with a pest or invasive species, we aim to use natural methods that cause the least environmental harm.

Please call 616-456-3000 for more information or to report a concern.

Trash and Litter

We empty trash bins and pick up litter in all 75 parks on a daily basis (7 days a week) during the summer.

If you see litter in a park or come across a full trash bin, you can report it by calling 616-456-3000 or reporting it online.

Building and Amenity Maintenance


We clean and maintain 32 restrooms across our park system on a daily basis (7 days a week) during the summer.

Park Buildings and Amenities 

We maintain and repair: 

  • Over 80 buildings and shelters
  • Fountains and reflecting pools
  • Lights in parks, parking lots and along trails
  • Portable toilets
  • Benches and picnic tables
  • Bollards, fences and walls
  • Signs and sign posts
  • Playground equipment
  • Foot bridges
  • Steps and pathways
  • 3 public pools
  • 14 city splash pads

If you see a park amenity in need of repair, you can report it by calling 616-456-3000 or reporting it online.

Winter Maintenance

Our parks and public spaces are open year-round from dawn to dusk. A select number of parks have their parking lots plowed and sidewalks cleared.

Snow Removal Standards

We clear snow from about 50 miles of sidewalks and paved trails, and 20 parking lots. 

  • If we get 2 or more inches of snow, we use all staff on regular work shifts, working overtime if needed 
  • If we get less than 2 inches of snow, we use staff as needed within regular work hours

Snow Removal Priorities

We split our work into two priority groups. Priority 1 areas include high use pedestrian trails and parking lots. Priority 2 areas include lower use parking lots and trails.

If snowfall is continuous, we may return multiple times a day to clear snow. To report a snow clearing concern, please call 616-456-3000.