Park of the Month: Plaster Creek

739 Van Raalte Dr. SW

Grand Rapids Public Schools (specifically Burton Elementary and Middle School) has recently collaborated with the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department to bring new life to Plaster Creek Family Park, an older 19-acre park on the city’s southwest side.

The “new” Plaster Creek Family Park was officially in a ceremony with GRPS staff, City officials, and local students on August 27, 2020, after a year of renovations funded by the 2013 parks millage.

Students of Burton School participated in planning this new park! They surveyed the neighborhood for ideas for the park and offered some of their own.  

Plaster Creek Family Park earned a 2020 Park Design award from the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association for its innovative use of natural materials and ecologically sustainable features.

These features include a native plants meadow and a rain garden, and several playground structures made from large logs. An outdoor classroom made from logs and stones sits on the northern rise, giving a good overview of the park to the south.  

Plaster Creek Family Park also has several opportunities for sports: two baseball fields (one lighted for night games), tennis courts, two enclosed hard surface soccer fields, and one large regulation size grass soccer field. Playground structures, a picnic shelter, and restrooms complete the list of amenities.

There is plenty of parking next to the ball fields accessible from Buchanan Ave. SW. I, for one, am sure looking forward to those summer night ball games! 


about the author: elizabeth b.

Elizabeth is a Neighborhood Forester trainee and nature enthusiast! She belongs to the Environmental Justice team at her church, is a member of the West Michigan Sierra Club, and is on a mission to visit every GR park (all 76!). You can follow her journey and learn more about our city parks at her blog, www.cityparksgrmi.org. If you would like to receive notifications when a new park is reviewed, email Elizabeth at eboessenkool@yahoo.com.


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