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Grand Rapids neighbors from the North End and Plainfield Township are joining hands in a day of caring for the environment on Saturday, May 19. “Hands Across the City: Greening the North Quarter” hopes to attract more than 500 participants from around the city to ready community gardens for planting, make improvements in city parks, spruce up the Creston and Cheshire business districts, and make repairs to residents’ homes. This is a collaborative effort between the churches, businesses, the North Quarter, Creston Neighborhood Association, and other non-profits, including the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, North End Community Ministry and New Development Corporation.
Coordinator Greg Martin says, “Everyone loves it when neighbors come together to make new friends, share a meal and work together for the common good. This is an affirmation of the spirit of the North Quarter and its’ commitment to a “green” and sustainable future. Residents truly make an investment in living here and are committed to building a strong sense of roots and community.”
The day will begin with breakfast in Briggs Park at 8:30 a.m. and work crews will receive assignments and head to project sites by 9:30. Approximately three hours of work will ensue from one end of Plainfield Avenue to the other. Business leaders have been particularly enthusiastic about the event. Laurie Williams said, “The projects our Creston Business Association has been working on are all coming into alignment. We find ourselves in the midst of a make-over for our neighborhood. There is focused energy here that is attracting enthusiastic young adults. This is truly an exciting time to be working in the North Quarter of Grand Rapids.”
As the neighborhood prepares for a major new environmental initiative as part of the upcoming Plainfield Ave. resurfacing this summer – the installation of “bio-retention islands”, CNA Executive Director Deborah Eid states “there is a palpable sense of excitement in our neighborhood as we feel the momentum building for attracting both new businesses and residents to connect here in Creston through the visible greening soon to be enjoyed up and down this “main street” of the North Quarter.”
Hands Across the City began in the summer of 2010 under the impetus of United Methodist Metropolitan Ministry of Grand Rapids with a KABOOM! Playground build in Garfield Park and a day of service in city parks co-sponsored by the City Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
Several events are taking place in various neighborhoods around the city throughout 2012, and participation has expanded to include many other churches and organizations.
Those interested in participating may sign up on the Hands Across the City Facebook page, go to www.Handsgr.org or register on-line at www.crestongr.com.
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For more information contact: Greg Martin, 616.363.3446 or 616.550.1709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.