See why Grand Rapids’ Joe Taylor Park is getting national recognition

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Joe Taylor Park is being featured here by the City Parks Alliance as a “Frontline Park” – as in, “on the forefront of creating healthier, more sustainable cities” through development of urban green space.

Check out the photo gallery above for a brief history of the park, named after a Grand Rapids police officer who got shot and killed tracking a murder suspect in the neighborhood in the 1980s.

Here’s the plot line that attracted the Washington, D.C.-based City Parks Alliance: Grand Rapids piggy-backed on an infrastructure project and pooled public and private resources to expand park space in a neighborhood plagued by crime and poverty.

The group says Joe Taylor Park, 1030 Bemis St. SE, sets “a new standard for sustainable park design,” and shares this lesson for city parks nationwide:

“City agencies should collaborate on projects that can serve a dual purpose, particularly in dense areas where land acquisition for parks is cost-prohibitive. Most of the preliminary steps to building a park were completed as a by-product of the water facility construction, so the park expansion was relatively cheap.”

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