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Park upgrades to give better view of downtown Grand Rapids



Three parks in downtown Grand Rapids are set to undergo a number of major upgrades that city officials say will dramatically change scenic views of the downtown skyline, while creating more walking and recreational options for park visitors.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, along with parks and recreation director David Marquardt, were joined by a number of stakeholders Wednesday to break ground on the three greenspaces, which include Look, Reservior and Belknap parks.

“Working with Belknap Lookout neighbors since last summer, we have found creative solutions that will help refresh these signature parks,” said David Marquardt, the City’s parks and recreation director. “These special parks have been destinations for generations because of the incredible view of downtown Grand Rapids and the Grand River. We’re looking forward to enhancing these parks so they can continue to be enjoyed by our community for years to come.”

In order to create the increased visibility of Grand Rapids’ downtown corridor, city officials say, some vegetation will need to be sacrificed, specifically on the Belknap Lookout’s hillside. The move however, has the blessing of Belknap Lookout neighbors who say an increased view of the skyline was a priority to park improvements.

“Being able to take an evening stroll to catch the sunset at Lookout Park is one of the highlights of living in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood,” said Loren Sturrus, Neighbors of Belknap Lookout board chair. “Our neighborhood parks are a destination and have been enjoyed by many generations of Grand Rapids residents. We are pleased the City is investing in these parks that make our neighborhood so special.”

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the summer.

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