Friends in the news

Volunteers, donors help maintain Grand Rapids Parks

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – It’s spring and Grand Rapids residents are returning to all the parks the city has spent very little to maintain and repair over the past few years.

“It seems like it’s getting depreciated,” says Richmond Park visitor Adolph Flores. “That’s dangerous for the kids,” he adds, pointing to his grandchildren climbing on playground toys.

The Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation budget hasn’t rebounded from huge cuts several years ago.  Some of the playground equipment in the parks is now broken and faded.

“I make sure they stay away from things that are unsafe, like that slide,” says Richmond Park visitor Rachel Dombrowski, keeping a close watch over her two small daughters.

What is helping to maintain and keep the parks open is the contribution of time, money and effort by many volunteers.

On Friday, Amway Corporation donated money to install a new KaBOOM playground at Briggs Park. Amway employees also provided the labor.

“This is a day they can come out and make a difference in the community,” explained Amway volunteer coordinator Dawnlynn Suttorp. “This is a first-class playground. Lots of monkey bars and slides. It’s going to be fun.”

On May 20-21, volunteers from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and several hundred Michigan Americorps members are planning a spring cleanup and playground repair at 10 Grand Rapids city parks.

Volunteers from the public are invited to join them at 9:30 a.m. on May 21.

Participating parks include :

Wilcox
MLK
Richmond
Hillcrest
Highland
Aberdeen
Sigsbee
Oakdale
Roosevelt/Clemente
Douglas/Westown Commons

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