The final Parks and Recreation Strategic Master Plan was adopted by City Commission on June 13, 2017.

View the final plan:
Zine Executive Summary.pdf (20 page Master Plan Summary)
Master Plan Appendices.pdf  (160 pages)​​

THANK YOU to all who have contributed to the future of your parks!

This is the year to imagine a bigger, better park system filled with fun for every Grand Rapidian! 

Over 75 parks and open spaces, year-round recreation programs, outdoor movies, farmers markets, and events… the Grand Rapids parks and recreation system does a lot! But, we also want to make it better: the City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation has completed a citywide strategic master plan. We’re searching for ways to bring walkable parks to every neighborhood, exploring new recreation programs, dreaming up ideas to improve existing amenities, and building in ways to make the system financially and environmentally sustainable.

The Master Plan creates a vision for the long-term development, programming, and sustainability of Grand Rapids' parks, public open spaces, and recreation facilities. The plan considers community needs, recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities, economic development, environmental conditions, priority projects and funding. Community engagement was at the heart of this effort, and will continue to be at the heart of implementing this plan.

Information & Presentations

Draft Master Plan (January 2017)

Your City, Your Parks Luncheon (January 2017)

Public Open Houses:​
Public Open House #2: Analysis and Visioning (July 2016)
(1) Grand Rapids' Park Story (2) Our System Today (3) Opportunities for Enhancement

Public Open House #3: A Vision for the Future of GR Parks (September 2016)

Public Open House #4: Making it Happen (December 2016)

Additional Information:
Project Overview (June 2016): 
Where We've Been: Public Outreach Summary.pdf
Summary of Community Input via MyParks Online Survey: ​Online Survey Results.pdf

How do I stay involved?
1. Share your voice at our Open Houses
#1: May 6 & 7 - What can you imagine for Grand Rapids parks?
#2: July 22 - Learn interesting facts about our Parks & Recreation system & help us imagine creative ways of improving it.
(See Information section above for a PDF of the presentation shown at Open House #2)
#3: September 19 & 20 - Learn about the vision for the future and weigh in on project ideas
(See Information section above for a PDF of the presentation shown at Open House #3)
#4: December 2 - Give feedback about the draft plan, and help us make this vision a reality!
(See the Information section above for a PDF of the information boards shown on Dec. 2)

 2. Follow our progress on Social Media
Facebook: City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department
Instagram: @grandrapidsparks

Director David Marquardt:
Instagram: @gr_parks_director
Twitter: @grparksdirector
3. Attend a meeting in your community
Neighborhood park improvement meetings

Each year we hold neighborhood meetings to review plans for the millage-funded park projects, where we are already incorporating many ideas from the Master Plan. Come to these meetings and voice your opinions about plans for  your community parks!

​See updates on current park projects here.​
Community Meetings:                                          

  • Midtown Neighborhood Association​ --- ​September 7
  • Seeds of Promise --- September 8
  • East Hills Council of Neighbors --- September 12
  • Heartside Business Association --- September 22
  • Stockbridge Business Association --- September 22
  • Creston Neighborhood Association --- September 22
  • Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association --- September 27
  • Grand Rapids Urban League --- September 28
  • Northeast Citizens Action Association --- September 29
  • Oakdale Neighbors --- October 10
  • Garfield Park Neighborhood Association --- October 13
  • Creston Neighborhood Association Annual meeting --- October 17
  • West Grand Neighborhood Association --- November 21​

Park walks scheduled with David Marquardt, director of Parks and Recreation:

  • Roosevelt Park --- October 5
  • Alger Park --- October 6
  • Pleasant Park --- October 7
  • Kensington Park --- October 10
  • Huff Park --- October 18
  • Oakdale Gardens Park --- October 19
  • Richmond Park --- October 19
  • Westown Commons Park --- October 20
  • Coit Park --- October 20
  • Sigsbee Park --- October 21
  • Foster Park --- October 21
  • Wilcox Park --- October 26
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Park --- November 4
  • Ken-O-Sha Park --- November 17
​Contact us at or your neighborhood association for more details.

4. Tell us what you think! ​​

To comment on any of the Master Plan documents or material on this web page, please email us at


Thank you to over 5,300 Grand Rapids residents from across the city that have voiced their opinions and have participated in the plan so far! 

We are grateful for the participation of the following groups and committees that are helping to shape the future of Grand Rapids Parks:​

Citizen's Committee
  • Andy Guy, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
  • Chris Reader
  • Chris Wessely, Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club
  • Cynthia Burkhour, Access Recreation Group
  • Elaine Isely, West Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Gail Heffner, Plaster Creek Stewards
  • Hanna Jaworski, MD, Children's Hospital
  • Janet Korn, Experience Grand Rapids
  • Johanna Jelks, She Rides Her Own Way
  • John Helmholdt, GRPS
  • Jon Carfagno, Grand Rapids Art Museum
  • Jonathan Rinehart, Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi
  • Julio Cano Villalobos, Spectrum Health
  • Kelsey Perdue, YMCA
  • Kim VanDriel, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
  • Kyle Pray, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Lee Mueller, Parks Advisory Board representative
  • Mike Guswiler, West Michigan Sports Commission
  • Monica Steimle, 616 Development
  • Rhondo Cooper, GRCC Upward Bound
  • Richard App, Richard App Galleries
  • Sam Cummings, CWD Real Estate
  • Shawnte Williams, SAAK Solutions
  • Tracey Flower, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks​
Consultant Team