Friends in the news

Park(day) Day GR gives green makeover to parking spots

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- If your plans call for heading to downtown Grand Rapids on Friday, expect to see some “mini
parks” in metered parking spots. That’s because today is International
Park(ing) Day. It’s a movement challenging people to rethink the way
streets are used and to reinforce the need for greenspace in urban
areas. It makes sense that this year, the event is sponsored by Friends
of Grand Rapids Parks.

According to Executive Director, Steve Faber, “Through our research, we found that Grand Rapids
is underparked as a community. We don’t have the greenspace or maybe
the type of greenspace we need as a city. So, we hope this event calls
awareness in a fun way. Gets it on people’s radar that greenspace can
be small but function really well.”

This is the second year the city has had Park(ing) Day where
temporary outdoor parks complete with grass, plants, and art can be
seen on downtown streets. This year, more than 20 organizations and businesses
have signed up to create their vision, including Plenty Creative on 15
Ionia Street. The graphic design crew has worked on various projects
with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

They say while Park(ing) Day is a fun way to bring vibrancy to the
downtown, the message it sends is a very important one. Sally England
from Plenty Creative says, “I think greenspace is really important for
a community. It kind of gives them a sense of calm a sense of
connection with nature. It seems like a lot of times throughout our big
cities and our today lives we kind of forget about slowing down and
appreciating that.”

Park(ing) Day is timely because the city has been celebrating this
week as “Green Week.” It’s also wrapping up its Green Grand Rapids
master plan. You can check out the parking spots that are scattered
around downtown from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Friday. For a peak at a map, click HERE!

By Jennifer Pascua

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