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Grand River Equity Framework: An Inviting, Inclusive River

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
The Right Place
Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

The third goal of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s Grand River Equity Framework is an inviting and inclusive river.

Leaders from the area’s Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities formed Grand River Voices making sure their perspectives are included in Grand River restoration planning. The project focuses on returning the river to its natural state improving habitat and water flow revitalizing downtown Grand Rapids spurring economic growth. Grand River Voices wants historically disadvantaged communities benefit from its outcomes.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. listened putting forward the Grand River Equity Framework. It’s third goal is creating an inviting and inclusive river. One that is safe and welcoming supporting free and low-cost, culturally relevant programs.

There are nine benchmarks. It begins with establishing 350 annual community and cultural river events mirroring regional demographics. The installation of 35 new shoreline educational, art and safety installations by the year 2025. Along the river trail extending from Millennium to Riverside Parks, public wellness facilities will be stationed every half-mile. Once the river’s water quality improves and conditions are deemed safe, swimming will return. There will be a focus on Kent County water-safety programs with a target of 90% of county youth aged 7-18 learning to swim.

For more information, log on at www.downtowngr.org/our-work/projects/grand-river-network.


Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.