Grand Rapids Parks Projects

JPEG image of City and GRPS leaders at Plaster Creek Family Park

Big things are happening in our public parks! Funding from a 2013 millage provides repair, rehab, and new improvements in our parks, pools, and playgrounds.

Explore past, current and future millage projects on the map below. Click the icon.PNG icon to expand a list of park projects by year.


Park Millage 5-Year Report

Click below to see what we've done together so far, and what's to come in 2019.

See the Millage Report(PDF, 10MB)

Types of improvements

Repair and Rehab

  • Picnic table and grill repairs, bathroom accessibility upgrades, and resurfaced walking paths, basketball courts, and tennis courts

More Pool Time

  • Community pools at Richmond, Briggs, and Martin Luther King, Jr. parks can stay open longer in the summer

New Features

  • Splash pads, skate parks, picnic shelters, futsol and pickleball courts, benches, drinking fountains and more

Investment Charts - Click to view larger

Fiscal year 14-19 total Investment by type of improvement

FY14 - FY19 total millage investment (PNG, 137KB)

Fiscal year 19 Investment by park

FY19 Park Millage Investment by Park(PNG, 96KB)

Choosing the Projects

  • Each year, the Parks Department chooses several parks throughout the city for improvement. Over the course of the 7-year millage, every park in the city is getting upgrades
  • We involve residents and encourage everyone to share your ideas for your neighborhood park
  • The citizen-run Parks Advisory Board reviews the projects. City Commission then approves them before any funds are spent
  • Maintenance and administrative tasks are paid for by the Parks Department general fund

Funds Pay for the Following

  • Park amenities (benches, grills, picnic areas, etc.)
  • Athletic fields and sport courts
  • Landscaping
  • Park buildings, restrooms, furnaces, air conditioning
  • Sidewalks, trails, boardwalks, and parking lots
  • Park design, construction, and community engagement

15 parks are set for renovation in 2021.

  • Ward 1: Fourth St. Woods, Garfield Park splashpad, Nagold Park
  • Ward 2: Hillcrest Park, Midtown Green, Sweet St. Park
  • Ward 3: Heritage Hill Park, Mulick Park playground, Paris Park, Seymour Park
  • Downtown: Fish Ladder, Heartside Park, Pekich Park, Riverwalk, Rosa Parks Circle

Project Goals

  • Upgrade old or broken amenities
  • Add new amenities that fit the needs of neighbors
  • Create a shared space that fosters community


Summer 2020 - Outreach Phase I

  • Hear community ideas and priorities through online surveys and comments
  • Use survey results to create design options incorporating community ideas

Fall-Winter 2020 - Outreach Phase II

  • Share design options for community feedback
  • Create final plan based on community priorities

Spring-Summer 2020-21 - Construction Prep

  • Finalize construction documents
  • Bid project

Fall 2021 - Construction

In March of 2021, we submitted six grant applications to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Improvements to Richmond Park

The proposed project will create a new playground next to the pavilion with inclusive play equipment and poured-in-place surfacing.  It will also replace existing asphalt walkways with universal concrete paths to ensure an accessible route from other areas in the park to the playground.


River Edges Trail, Leonard to Ann

The proposed project will close one of the most significant gaps in the city’s trail system and connect the city’s nonmotorized network to regional trails. The trail design includes a universally accessible shared use trail with three underpasses under Leonard Street, Ann Street, and GR Eastern Railroad bridge and connections to Monroe Avenue, in addition to trail signage, interpretive signage, and site amenities.  The project has been broken into four separate trail segments corresponding to four grant applications.


Plaza Roosevelt Acquisition

The proposed grant funding would be used to acquire a 0.77 acre greenspace at the northeast corner of Grandville Avenue and Rumsey Street SW as part of the Plaza Roosevelt redevelopment project that includes new affordable housing, commercial space, and the new GRPS Southwest Community Campus High School.


In December of 2021, David Marquardt, Director of Parks and Recreation updated City Commission on the department's work as it relates to the 2013 voter-approved Parks Millage. The update presentation includes information on 2021 park improvement projects and the future of the parks system with 2022 projects and beyond.

View Presentation