Volunteers Clean 13 City Parks as Part of Day of Caring 2013

Brisk fall air, a pile of rags and full cans of paint awaited volunteers as they brought hot coffee and work gloves into city parks for the annual Day of Caring on Friday, Sept. 13.

“It’s great to get out of the office,” said Mike Bryson of Huntington Bank, with a grin. “We live and we work in this community. … Simple projects like this help people enjoy their parks more.”

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks coordinated with United Way, the City of Grand Rapids, neighborhood volunteers, and nine local companies to volunteer. This year, the event corresponds with the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

According to project coordinator Kyle Van Strien, more than 250 people volunteered to clean up 13 parks this year.

A 0.98-mill property tax proposal will be on the Nov. 5 ballot for city voters. The tax would last for seven years and raise about $4 million per year for park repairs, improvements and swimming pool operation. A 0.98-mill tax amounts to about $45 per year for the owner of a home valued at the Grand Rapids average (cost more for more expensive homes, and less for cheaper homes).

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