In the spring of 2016, Sasaki partnered with the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department to embark on a comprehensive planning process towards creating a long-term vision for Grand Rapids’s parks and recreation system. The yearlong process resulted in a multi-year roadmap for improving Grand Rapids’s park spaces and recreation offerings, and for aligning these improvements with broad, community-driven goals of enhancing accessibility to parks, fiscal sustainability, and environmental resiliency.
As a part of this process, Sasaki and the city crafted an interactive and broad-reaching public engagement campaign that asks the community to share its vision for the parks and recreation system of the future. Over the course of the project, the project team engaged with over 5,000 Grand Rapids residents, whose input highlighted such common themes as better connections to parks, improved recreation amenities, and opportunities to engage with the Grand River.
Ultimately, the project resulted in an innovative and strategic master plan document, with recommendations for short-, medium-, and long-term investments in physical facilities, program development, and organizational capacity, along with innovative mechanisms for funding these investments. The plan will serve as a guiding framework for the development of Grand Rapids’s parks and recreation system for years to come.