annual

BBQ and Beautify is a summer event series that is hosted in the evening encouraging neighbors to come together and help spruce up their community park. The beautification project is followed by a free community BBQ and yard games hosted by Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Green Gala is Grand Rapids’ greenest bash of the year. Our signature fundraising event not only raises awareness of the value of great parks but also serves as the catalyst for our ongoing work to protect, enhance, and expand parks and public spaces.

Mayor’s Greening Initiative, hosted by Mayor Bliss with help from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the City’s Forestry Department, brings together community and corporate volunteers to plant hundreds of trees around the City during Arbor Week to bring us closer to the City’s master plan goal of 40 percent tree canopy cover.

Mayor’s Tree of the Year, hosted by Mayor Bliss with help from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks highlights trees across our city that tell a story and impact our community in big ways. Unlike other contests, Mayor’s Tree of the Year doesn’t focus on beauty, size or age but rather on a single tree’s story and its connection to the people of Grand Rapids.

Movies In The Neighborhood Park, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Police Department and City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Department, host a series of free family-friendly movies in our neighborhood parks throughout the summer!  This series was started in 2019 to bring neighbors together and activate green spaces in the Grand Rapids community in a fun and engaging way.

Tree Beer started in 2013 when local brewers asked Friends of GR Parks (FGRP) how they could celebrate being named Beer City USA by giving back to our parks and public spaces. Brewers create tree-themed beers that are offered for a limited time with proceeds going directly to FGRP’s Urban Forest Project tree plantings in the Brewer’s Grove.

WinterWest is a winter fun free event in collaboration with West Grand Neighborhood Organization, the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Rec Department, and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.  WinterWest was started in 2010 to encourage outdoor park engagement during the chilly winter months.

Each year we host an event to update our friends on the progress we are making toward our goals, recognize key partners, and to announce upcoming projects and opportunities.