celebrating national and local parks on august 25th

The United States’ National Park Service (NPS) is celebrating a little birthday this summer; on August 25, 2016 the organization turns the big 100. They’re celebrating their centennial with new programs, partners, events, and more.

August 25, 2016 is also the date of the 6th annual Green Gala, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ (FGRP) largest annual fundraising event, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share this special date with the NPS.

When the United States’ National Park system was born in the 1800s, the idea of setting aside land for preservation and public enjoyment was radical. But our forefathers—from the first European visitors to encounter the Yosemite Valley to environmental advocates like John Muir to politicians like Theodore Roosevelt—understood, even then, the critical importance of preserving pieces of outdoor spaces for generations of Americans to enjoy. It’s of equal importance that this radical idea is carried out today, even in—or, perhaps, most especially in—our cities and urban spaces, and that cities like Grand Rapids continue their investment in public parks.


Yosemite National Park

As the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted said,

“It is one great purpose of the Park to supply to the hundreds of thousands of tired workers, who have no opportunity to spend their summers in the country, a specimen of God’s handiwork that shall be to them, inexpensively, what a month or two in the White Mountains or the Adirondacks is, at great cost, to those in easier circumstances.”

FGRP remains deeply committed to our mission of mobilizing people and resources to protect and enhance Grand Rapids’ parks and green spaces in order to, ultimately, give Grand Rapidians places within the City to congregate, play, and connect with nature. We can’t do this alone, however. We need continued support from our community—from neighbors and businesses alike—to reach our goals. And attending or sponsoring the Green Gala is one of the best ways to give that support.


Aman Park

We count on the dollars raised annually by this event to fund park clean-up and maintenance events, tree plantings, citizen advocate workshops, community events, and more. By attending or sponsoring the Green Gala, you are demonstrating your commitment to the preservation and growth of parks and green spaces in Grand Rapids for current and future generations. We look forward to seeing you there and to celebrating both our urban and National parks together on August 25th!

Purchase tickets or become a sponsor of the 2016 Green Gala: http://www.green-gala.com/#green-gala

Follow us on Facebook (@friendsofgrparks) and Twitter (@friendsofGRparks) to stay up to date on the latest Green Gala news.

Learn more about the history of the National Parks Service and its Centennial Celebrations:

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