Friends in the news

FGRP is statewide winner of 2015 Governor’s Service Award for ‘Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year’

GSAGov. Rick Snyder on Monday night honored the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP) as the Outstanding Volunteer Program of the Year. FGRP was one of 8 statewide winners of the Governor’s Service Awards, which honors groups and individuals that solve community issues through volunteerism.

“This award is especially meaningful because it honors all the volunteers and supporters who actively help to rebuild our parks system and grow our urban forest in Grand Rapids,” said Steve Faber, FGRP’s former executive director who accepted the award on behalf of the group. “This award is a testament to the hard work of so many people over the past six years, and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is positioned to keep growing its volunteer programs in the future.”

The Governor’s Service Award credited FGRP with “identifying park projects, mobilizing residents and generating resources to protect, enhance and expand Grand Rapids’ 1,900 acres of parks and public spaces.”

On Monday, Faber began a new position as the West Michigan Team Leader in Grand Rapids for Byrum & Fisk Communications.

Since its founding in 2008, FGRP has engaged more than 7,100 volunteers – including local neighborhood groups, park-users, large and small businesses, schools, churches, city agencies and other non-profits to clean up parks, install amenities, plan special events, fundraise and more. Volunteers have planted over 1,000 trees, built and repaired playgrounds, resurfaced basketball courts, removed invasive species, and built ice rinks and outdoor fitness centers. In the summer 2014, FGRP partnered to host a free summer movie series in partnership with Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., generating attendance of more than 19,000 throughout the series.

Coordinated by the Michigan Community Service Commission, the state’s lead agency on volunteerism, the Governor’s Service Awards recognizes 40 finalists from around the state in eight categories. The award celebrates community service and volunteerism across Michigan.

 

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