Parks Alive Leaders program’s exciting progress

Grand Rapids is a place of vision, change, and immense activism. There’s a thousand ways to get involved, get active, get out there. We like to think that parks are one of the best ways to do all three, but with such a plethora of options Friends of Grand Rapids Parks knows how important the why is in our programming.

With this in mind, we partnered with Well Design Studio this summer to design new branding for the Parks Alive Leaders (PAL) program. Well Design Studio took all of our ideas and hopes and turned them into binders, tool-kits, and brochures for our PALs.

Parks Alive Leaders offers free classes on all things parks. PALs attend four classes: Green Thumb, Park Planning, Branching Out, and Parks & People. The classes cover gardening, park design, advocacy, and park activation. When participants start the program they receive a binder and when they graduate they receive a tool-kit. But with all the different ways to get involved, why choose Parks Alive Leaders?

When Well Design Studio asked our PAL Advisory Board this question, we had a lot of answers: to provide neighbors with the resources they need to take ownership of their parks, to give newcomers a way to plug into the park system, and to help build friendships across the city. Well Design’s team took our feedback and summarized it beautifully. They helped us clearly answer our most pressing questions: why should neighbors get involved? why should people perfect their parks?

We want neighbors to get involved because we want everyone to have the opportunity to perfect their park. And we want people to perfect their park because it’s where Grand Rapidians create memories and make friends. While we know that our PAL graduates love to work in their parks regardless of rewards, thanks to Well Design we’re now able to present our first-ever PAL tool-kits to our graduates. The kits include:

-a glass water bottle for hiking our parks’ gorgeous trails
-a hat so you can look awesome hiking
-a PAL patch to ensure that our Parks Alive Leaders feel like they’re a part of the team
-a notebook and pencil for PALs to record their observations as they walk our parks
-a foldable bag to hold all the items needed to work in a park and look good doing it
-a gorgeously designed, perfectly soft shirt so our PAL always feel confident in their work
And it’s all wrapped in an environmentally friendly box that’s just as cool as the items inside.

Parks Alive Leaders aim to perfect their park. We want you to join the program because our parks are where memories are made and every park deserves to be perfect. We want you to check out a class because the participants are wonderful and they would love to hear your ideas. The items in our new tool-kits represent our hopes for this program and our belief in the Parks Alive Leaders out there working hard.

Well Design Studio generously donated their time and talent to make all of this happen, and the materials were generously funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The binders and tool-kits will be available at our PAL Park Planning class on October 10th. Don’t miss the chance to check it out and see these stunning kits yourself!


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