Grand Rapids wants to upgrade every park in the city

Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-11 15:25:24-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Neighborhoods are celebrating with eight new and improved parks, the city's first project costing more than $2 million in renovations.

Mayor Heartwell and city leaders got together Thursday for a special trolley tour and a progressive grand re-opening of those parks. Mayor Heartwell tells FOX 17 this is just the first round of major investments for the city of Grand Rapids.

"We will hit every single one of our parks within the next seven years of this millage," said Mayor Heartwell.

The Department of Parks and Recreation seeks to rejuvenate 74 parks, just under 2,000 acres in the city limits. The voter approved 7-year-millage brings in $4 million annually: providing funding for repair, rehabilitation, and new improvements to parks, pools, and playgrounds.

Thursday's ceremony began at Fuller Park where Mayor Heartwell thanked the city for their support in making capital improvements to Fuller, Garfield, Highland, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Wilcox park: in addition to Cherry and Weston Commons Park back in August.  Mayor Heartwell understands the seven year investment will help bring up the value of properties for neighborhoods and businesses.

"People want to be around green, open spaces and around trees," said Mayor Heartwell. "It adds to the quality of life to a community."

Six new parks are being reviewed for upgrades in 2016 and will forego a similar process. Those parks include Campau, Camelot, Douglas, Dickinson, Mary Waters, and Mulick.