matching parks with volunteer stewards

Adopt-a-Park is a collaboration between Friends and the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. This program’s goal is to connect community members with parks, and improve the accessibility, environmental impact, and aesthetic of our parks and green spaces.

The Parks and Recreation Dept. works hard to maintain each of its 76 parks, but that is a lot of acreage to support! 

Find Your Park Today

Are you passionate about your neighborhood park, or a green space you frequent? Find it on the map below and see if it could use some TLC! Keep in mind, even if it has been adopted by someone else, multiple people can adopt the same park, bed, cemetery, green space, or trail.

Adopt-a-Park volunteer Margo weeding a flowerbed at her park, Westown Commons.

frequently asked questions

Anyone! Individuals, community organizations, neighborhood associations, corporate groups, churches, school clubs, etc. can all adopt a park. 

Volunteers should have a connection to the park they adopt – such as living or being based out of the neighborhood where the park is located.

Any of the 76 parks, cemeteries, and green spaces managed by the City of Grand Rapids can be adopted through this program! Multiple people or groups may adopt the same park (the more park love, the better!).

To view all eligible parks and their adoption status, check our map here.

  • Complete a Park Condition Assessment form to evaluate the park’s status and set goals for improvement.

  • Meet with Friends’ with Volunteer Manager to discuss your vision, determine if you will adopt the entire park or just a section, and create a plan.

  • Host one beautification project or activation event in the park per quarter, totaling four per year.

  • Ensure all volunteers complete Friends’ Volunteer Medical Waiver
  • Track all hours volunteered by yourself and others using our sign-in form.

Beautification projects will look different depending on season, volunteer interests, and park needs, but could include:

  • Picking up trash and litter 

  • Raking leaves 

  • Spreading mulch
  • Removing invasive plants and weeds

  • Planting flowers 

  • Washing or painting picnic tables and benches

  • Sweeping hard surfaces (basketball courts, sidewalks, etc.)

  • Planting trees in the park (special project – training provided)

  • Pruning park trees (special project – training provided)

You could also work with Friends and the City to try to coordinate a larger project if you desire (i.e. a mural, special installation, etc.)!

We will help you navigate City permissions, gather all supplies, and have a great volunteer experience! Friends will provide:

  • Sign-in sheets and volunteer report forms
  • Support with volunteer recruitment (flyers for you to distribute, listing on our website and social media, etc.)
  • Access to necessary tools (including personal protective equipment, high-vis vests and trash bags). Delivery of stocked tool trailer to project site when needed
  • Training from Urban Forest Team for tree pruning and planting projects
  • Opportunities to collaborate with grants for bigger projects 
  • Connection with the City for trash removal after projects

  • Resources for on-going park care and community engagement

  • Access to Friends of GR Parks’ staff and subject matter experts

ready to get started?

We love partnering with neighbors to bring their vision to life and enhance parks throughout our city.

If you want to learn more about the program and see what can be possible working together, please email info@friendsofgrparks.org!

Adopt-a-Park volunteer Chazz spreading mulch at Garfield Park!