The city of Grand Rapids recently received a grant that supports community planning to include high quality parks within in a ten minute walk for all residents. It’s a 40-thousand dollar grant from the National Recreation and Park Association
The grant funding will be used to support community planning efforts that help increase access for residents to high-quality parks within a 10-minute walk – or a half-mile. David Marquardt is the director of G.R. Parks and Recreation.
“We found that 66 percent that live within a ten minute walk. But there’s that 33 percent that live outside. We want to make sure we’re delivering that to all. This grant helps us make sure we get that.”
So, the plan now, is to add park space that will erase disparities in historically underserved parts of the city,
“We want to make sure we’re delivering that same value that we’re delivering to all residents. In addition to that it’s going to be equally as important that we’re keeping up with rapid pace of population growth as well, so that we’re not falling behind in the future as we’re adding population to the city.”
Marquart says they’re tracking properties in the city to expand in park space in the needed areas… But he says up until now, there’s been no true plan.
“So, I think that’s what this study and this opportunity through this grant will provide for us is that framework and that clear decision matrix that the city, the department and citizens can rely on, that, yes. This is a parcel that we should be pursuing.”
Grand Rapids was among 12 cities to receive the grant funding.