Diversity and Inclusion

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Diversity and Inclusion Statement

In principle and in practice, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks values and seeks diverse and inclusive participation when developing projects in the community. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks promotes involvement and expanded access to opportunities for staff, board and volunteers, regardless of ethnicity, race, color, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, immigration status, economic circumstances, physical and mental abilities and characteristics, faith tradition and philosophy.


Friends of Grand Rapids Parks looks to commit time and resources to accomplish these diversity and inclusion objectives while serving as a model for community groups engaged in such endeavors. Diversity and inclusion makes cities more successful and quality of life more fulfilling. By actively cultivating a diverse mix of stewards, our community can benefit from a vastly richer mix of ideas, perspectives and life experiences that expands our economic diversity and revenue possibilities.

How we live this out 

To ensure Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is free of barriers, encourages, and supports community voice and needs, FGRP recognizes how historical practices have affected certain communities.  Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will serve as a resource and advisor to diverse stakeholders.  Friends of Grand Rapids Parks will pursue authentic community-oriented partnerships by being transparent about goals and objectives, developing ways to transfer power to communities. We will do this by empowering our community with resources, partnerships, and education. We will adjust how we deliver our mission to ensure individuals have what they need and feel welcomed to partner and collaborate with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Areas of Focus

There are 76 parks in the Grand Rapids City park system and although Friends of GR Parks is gathering more support, partners, and resources, we cannot make a big impact on all parks. Through strategic planning and stakeholder engagement, Friend is focusing more resources on areas within our community where green space, canopy, and positive activities are not as prevalent as other spaces in our community.


Our organization continues to focus on activation and advocacy, stewardship building through community engagement, and special project fundraising as primary functions of our organization, bringing in other strategic partnerships to create a holistic approach to the work we embark upon.


Friends will always be an organization working toward the goal of reaching 40% tree canopy coverage in Grand Rapids by planting and maintaining trees. But even more, Friends is a catalyst in unifying neighborhoods in their diverse identities and traditions to share in strengthening our access to nature, activity, exercise, safe spaces for our entire community. We are a health and wellness organization because through the work of focusing on green spaces and trees we are impacting health of our neighbors.

Address Issues

We strive to be a leader, catalyst, and resource in our diverse community through work that positively impacts quality of life in the areas of parks, green spaces, and trees. We work to add to the business landscape by enhancing the economic prosperity for all by activating and building stewards for the greenspaces and parks in our community.


We know that parks, trees, and green spaces help:

  • improve our community in the areas of childhood and adult obesity rates
  • help to reduce the carbon footprint
  • increase neighborhood safety and create positive economic impact.


We will seek to strengthen community partnerships, continue to build collaboration with partners, be active in the conversations around social and racial equity and engage neighborhoods through parks and green spaces.