New hammock grove, butterfly garden open at Briggs Park

Published on July 21, 2022

Photo of a new hammock grove and butterfly garden at Briggs Park

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department today announced the opening of a new hammock grove and butterfly garden at Briggs Park, 324 Knapp St. NE.

The space, which is also a public art piece, was reimagined by the Creston Neighborhood Association, Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts, and local artist Craig Merchant. A group of volunteers will plant native pollinator species in the center of the space with the help of Hum Native Plantscapes this fall.

The grove features tall wooden structures painted in bright colors with hooks for visitors to attach their own hammocks.

“Multiuse spaces like this help us achieve our mission of collaborative stewardship of our natural, educational and cultural resources,” David Marquardt, the City’s parks and recreation director, said. “The new hammock grove and butterfly garden seamlessly blends nature, art, and recreation to create a unique community space.”

Artist Craig Merchant’s goal was to create a space where the community can interact with the artwork and use the park in a unique way.

“I wanted the artwork to connect visitors to nature and the pollinator garden,” Merchant said. “The vibrant colors were inspired by the different seasons and the center structures provide a habitat for caterpillars to build their chrysalides.”

“Through our Living Green in Creston Committee, we’ve achieved a welcoming, sustainable, and relaxing park amenity for the neighborhood,” Kymie Spring, community organizer at the Creston Neighborhood Association, said. “To top it off, we collaborated with a Creston-based artist and native plantscape consultant to make it happen.”

The project team includes VIRIDIS Design Group and Katerberg VerHage Inc. This project was funded by the voter-approved parks millage. Additional information on past, current and upcoming parks millage projects can be found HERE.


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