Parks and Recreation

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Learn About the Parks, Pools and Playgrounds Proposal

The Parks, Pools and Playgrounds Proposal will appear on the Tuesday, November 5 ballot.

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If approved by Grand Rapids voters, the parks millage would:

  • Provide ongoing, stable and reliable funding for parks to keep our parks and playgrounds maintained and safe
  • Keep all Grand Rapids pools and splash pads open for the summer season and provide the staff and supplies to keep them safe and clean
  • Continue capital improvements and rehabilitation of our 74 neighborhood and community park spaces
  • Support additional, free recreational programming for children in Grand Rapids
  • Leverage outside grants and funding for capital improvement projects

What you need to know about the proposal:

  • This parks millage would provide an estimated $5 million annually in ongoing funding for our parks, pools and playgrounds.
  • The proposed rate of 1.25 mill would permanently replace the 2013 parks millage when it expires next year and cost the average homeowner an estimated $68.75 per year, or about $5.73 per month.
  • All millage dollars would be dedicated to parks, guided by the Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan and overseen by the Parks Advisory Board to ensure accountability and transparency.
  • If passed, every park in the City of Grand Rapids would see higher levels of maintenance, quicker repairs and improved facilities.

Learn More About the Proposal


Overview

Want to enjoy the City's parks? How about sign up for youth sports or adult fitness classes? We're here to help you rent park facilities, hold a special event, and take care of cemetery needs. We also make sure you're surrounded by green with our forestry division.

Did you know there are 74 city-owned parks? We manage these to make sure they're clean and safe for you to use. Some park sites are home to outdoor art, sculptures and historical monuments.

City Parks Directory


Highlights

Fish Ladder Park

This functional piece of artwork, designed by the artist, Joseph Kinnebrew, provides a practical application as well as an aesthetic pleasure. Watch fish jump up the ladder in a seasonal migration in the spring and late summer!

Rosa Parks Circle

In the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, a public art space designed by the world-renowned artist, Maya Lin.  Outdoor ice skating is offered from approximately the first week in December to the first week in March.  Numerous concerts, events, and festivals are also held here throughout the year. 

Westown Commons Park

The much-loved skatepark is a large draw for area youth who put many volunteer hours into cleaning up and helping redesign the park.

Fitness classes, youth sports, ice skating, and more! There are lots of ways to get active in Grand Rapids. Find what's best for you.

Recreation Homepage

Information on outdoor pools, splash pads, and swim lessons.

Aquatics Homepage

Looking to escape the city bustle? Visit one of our trails and explore the natural beauty of Grand Rapids.


Aman Park

  • Park acres: 339
  • Miles of trails: 6.4
  • Features: natural hiking and cross country skiing trails, bridges, interpretive trails, natural wooded areas
  • Trail map

Burton Woods

  • Park acres: 6
  • Miles of trails: 0.4
  • Features: natural pathway, wooded areas

Plaster Creek Trail

  • Park acres: 141
  • Miles of trails: 2.7
  • Features: paved pathway for non-motorized recreation, interpretive trails, views of Plaster Creek

Ball Perkins Park

  • Park acres: 80
  • Miles of trails: 0.65
  • Features: natural pathway, wooded areas, wetland overlook, rest areas
  • Trail map

Riverside Park

  • Park acres: 187
  • Miles of trails: 2.3
  • Features: paved pathway for non-motorized recreation, river overlooks, bridges
The Office of Special Events coordinates year-round activities and entertainment options for all Grand Rapids residents and visitors to enjoy. This starts with the Special Event Permit application process. You'll need to apply for a Special Event Permit if you have an activity or series of events or activities planned for a specific time and place. Typical special events include festivals, parades, races, concerts and neighborhood fairs. 
 
As you're planning your event, make sure to reference our Special Event Planning and Resource Guide. This has all the information you'll need for the small details. 
 
Want to check out what's happening in Grand Rapids near you? Check out My Neighborhood to enter your address and find events near you!
 
Want to see the full listing of upcoming events? Check out the link below!
 

Events and Activities

A cemetery is a resting place for those who have passed on and a place of comfort for the living to remember their loved ones. There are many choices when considering a burial option. We recommend pre-planning. We'll help you with pricing, lot selection and peace of mind with this decision.

Cemeteries Homepage

The Forestry Division ensures healthy tree canopy in Grand Rapids. We keep an inventory of all street, park and cemetery trees. We use this to assess tree health and track progress for tree canopy goals.

Forestry Homepage

Parks Millage 5-Year Report

In 2013, voters approved a 7-year parks millage to be invested in our 75 parks across the City. Click below to see what we've done together so far, and what's to come in 2019.

See the Millage Report(PDF, 10MB)


Park Improvement Projects

We're improving our parks all the time! Grand Rapids voters approved a 7 year Parks Millage on November 5, 2013. We use these funds to make improvements, repairs and rehabilitate parks, pools and playgrounds.

More Info


Master Plan

Our 5-year Master Plan outlines long-term development, programming, and sustainability of parks, public spaces, and recreation facilities.

More Info