City announces park events as part of community safety efforts

Published on July 24, 2019

Summer Park Events Banner

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids is hosting free park events this summer in each of the city’s three wards to enhance community safety and opportunity. The all-ages events are one of three pilot programs developed by the City shortly after a shooting incident at Joe Taylor Park.

The events include:

  • Storytime at Joe Taylor Park on four Wednesdays – July 24, July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14. The evening event includes storytime from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Basketball registration starts at 6 p.m. each day. The City is hosting Storytime at Joe Taylor Park, 1038 Bemis St. SE, in partnership with Baxter Neighborhood Association, Country Fresh, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Urban League and Read GR.
  • Hip hop aerobics at Joe Taylor Park on four Mondays (including July 22) – July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 12. The fun goes 5:30 to 7 p.m. It’s a drop-in activity, so there’s no registration.
  • Partner host of the Maranda Park Party – set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Garfield Park, 211 Madison Ave. SE. Several City departments will be part of the festivities, including 311 Customer Service, Diversity and Inclusion, Fire, Mobile GR, Parks and Police.
  • Rap Battle at Joe Taylor Park from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. This musical event features a workshop and the battle. The Rap Battle event is in partnership with HipHop Coalition and Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation.
  • Back to School Community Family Picnic Aug. 17 at Martin Luther King Park, 900 Fuller Ave. SE,  following the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute’s Rhythm Run. The picnic-style event – in partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, Baxter Neighborhood Association, ReadGR, Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Urban League – is set from noon to to 4 p.m.
  • Back-to-School Relaxer Event Sept. 7 at Joe Taylor Park. The event – in partnership with the Baxter Neighborhood Association, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Grand Rapids Public Schools, ReadGR and Grand Rapids Urban League – is tentatively planned for 6 to 9 p.m. Activities include a movie (9 to 11 p.m. – tentative), food and games.
  • Neighborhood disc golf disco in late August at Highland Park, 700 College Ave. NE. Details are being finalized – stay tuned. 

“We’re pleased to provide these events to our residents in collaboration with several community partners,” said Evette Pittman, the City’s special events supervisor. “These are great opportunities for neighbors to connect, create community and help send a clear message that violence has no place in our city.”

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