We Are Friends Spotlight on Parks Alive Leaders Program Coordinator, Rachel Skylis

This is the third in a series of monthly profiles featuring the many people–staff, Board members, volunteers and more–who, together, are Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Rachel Skylis is Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Program and Volunteer Coordinator leading the Parks Alive Leaders program. Rachel is policy nerd and she is happy to be a transplant Grand Rapidian as this city feels more and more like home.


Q: Rachel, what are you most excited about in the coming year at FGRP? 
A: Oh there’s so much to look forward to, my answer to this changes every week! Right now, I’m very excited about our spring and summer classes. Between the Citizen Forester and Parks Alive Leaders classes, we’ll have over 10 free classes for neighbors to enjoy and they’re really fun to teach!

Q: Why should neighbors be champions of their parks? 
A: Grand Rapids is blessed to have a parks millage to help keep our parks clean but our 74 city parks have so much potential beyond the millage. There’s some really strong research that shows park activation and neighborhood pride decrease vandalism and other park issues so the more more champions our parks have the better our parks will be!

Q: What’s going on in that picture?
A: When I was in college I was invited the White House and unexpectedly received this hug.

Become a PAL! Want to learn more about the Parks Alive Leaders program? Click here or give Rachel a holler at rachel@friendsofgrparks.org.

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