Plaster Creek Family Park wins design award

Published on January 06, 2021


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Plaster Creek Family Park has received a 2020 Park Design award from the Michigan Recreation & Park Association (mParks). The annual award is given to local park projects based on the criteria of project purpose, local significance, innovation, aesthetic quality and functionality.

The park, 2401 Buchanan Ave. SW, underwent improvements completed in August. The project is one of four planned partnerships between the City’s Parks and Recreation Department and Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) to create green schoolyards in park-deficient areas. Other sites include Brookside Elementary, Buchanan Elementary and Sigsbee Park.  

Students and families at Burton Elementary/Middle School helped to create plans for Plaster Creek Family Park’s new nature and learning space. The Nest is an outdoor classroom overlooking the park near Burton School. The Meadows natural playscape features a stump forest, log jam and other play features made from local fallen trees harvested and stored by the City’s Forestry Division. It also includes a rain garden, native meadow planting and community picnic area. Other features of the new park space include accessible pathways, athletic field improvements and green infrastructure improvements.

“We are honored that the important work we’re doing in Grand Rapids is being recognized at a statewide level,” said David Marquardt, the City’s parks and recreation director, “The improvements at Plaster Creek Family Park will help students and the community create meaningful educational and recreational experiences.”

The project directly supports the City’s Strategic Plan goal of creating a healthy environment through equitable access to and use of green spaces, increasing recreational activities and protecting and preserving water resources.

“The Plaster Creek Family Park and Burton Schoolyard project is truly the crown jewel of our joint Cities Connecting Children to Nature work,” said Leadriane Roby, GRPS superintendent. “I want to extend our thanks and appreciation to the City’s Parks and Recreation staff and architects who made this project an award-winning reality for our community’s children.”

In addition to the City and GRPS, project partners include Our Community’s Children, the Wege Foundation, the City’s Environmental Services Department, the National League of Cities and the Children and Nature Network.

 Take a virtual tour of Plaster Creek Family Park HERE.

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