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City of Grand Rapids Parks


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I thought about putting this thread in the Green Grand Rapids section, but it hasn't seen activity in a good long while so no need to have to check two places. Let's talk GR Parks here.

I'll start with an idea....

Last night, I went to hammock down at Canal Park, between Linear and Leonard St. bridge and I'll be darned if all of the trees are much further apart than the 13-16 ft spacing recommended for hammocking.  This isn't the first time i've had this problem.  At Riverside it's a problem...and there is a lack of options for trees for two people to be able to hammock together. I could do one tree, but my wife would have to be some ways away. so i got to thinking....

What if I/we/someone crowdfunded/obtained grant funding to create more options to hammock in all of the city parks?

Here's my idea...and it's not new.   It's been done before:

I haven't checked it out yet, but there is apparently a Hammock Grove at 48 Gold Ave NW and it would appear we have an outdoor gear library as well already, though it strikes me as not particularly convenient.

Start with Riverside park and place logs/poles, secondary to large/mature trees to create better options to hammock. Since riverside is so large, you could create a couple of spots with 3+ options to hammock, but generally, limit them to single or double installations.  This presence of these intentional hammock logs (trees? poles?) would discourage using young trees too.  How much would that cost really if a girl scout troop can pull it off?

Expand the pole installation to other city parks and give the surrounding communities access to nature/leisure they might not otherwise have access to.  Maybe DTE donates the logs from their electrical poles (do we still call them telephone poles?).  In neighborhoods where residents might not be hammock owners, install the industrial hammocks from the Austin TX example above.  That might take some more money apart from just putting logs in the ground...but still, access to nature is important for everyone.

It could be a fun little grassroots civic project, right?

Assuming this sounds like a good idea, what exactly would next steps look like? I was thinking of doing my own little survey of the parks. photographing trees. photoshopping a log and hammock on them for future state renderings, lol  then tallying up costs for three phases:  Riverside Proof of concept (log installs only),  expansion to City wide log-only installs  in parks, and then install of the industrial/turn-key hammocks in parks where it makes more sense.  Then, hand it off to the city parks people with a check or something.

 

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This seems like a perfectly fine idea to me. Step#1) Talk to the parks dept / Friends of GR Parks, what are their feelings?  They are both very friendly organizations.  Perhaps inquire what parks

I thought about putting this thread in the Green Grand Rapids section, but it hasn't seen activity in a good long while so no need to have to check two places. Let's talk GR Parks here. I'll star

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This seems like a perfectly fine idea to me.

Step#1) Talk to the parks dept / Friends of GR Parks, what are their feelings?  They are both very friendly organizations.  Perhaps inquire what parks are currently in [re]design review; they cycle through the parks for making improvements.

Step#2) If you have specific parks in mind talk to the relevant Neighborhood Associations.  Best maybe to start with your own.  I am chair of the Highland Park association - we'd be very open to talking about something like this.

Step#3) [after step#1 & step#2] if you are going to move forward fire of an e-mail to your City Commissioners to let them know, they might be able to connect you with someone else with similar ideas or some potential resources.  Maybe not, but don't deny them the opportunity.

Have you considered mobile / free-standing hammock stands?  Perhaps a better way to start then setting posts, etc...  They are not expensive.

OIP.cBpYXhgPGsERsCPU5eUi3AHaFj.jpeg

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On 9/3/2021 at 12:23 PM, whitemice said:

This seems like a perfectly fine idea to me.

Step#1) Talk to the parks dept / Friends of GR Parks, what are their feelings?  They are both very friendly organizations.  Perhaps inquire what parks are currently in [re]design review; they cycle through the parks for making improvements.

Step#2) If you have specific parks in mind talk to the relevant Neighborhood Associations.  Best maybe to start with your own.  I am chair of the Highland Park association - we'd be very open to talking about something like this.

Step#3) [after step#1 & step#2] if you are going to move forward fire of an e-mail to your City Commissioners to let them know, they might be able to connect you with someone else with similar ideas or some potential resources.  Maybe not, but don't deny them the opportunity.

Have you considered mobile / free-standing hammock stands?  Perhaps a better way to start then setting posts, etc...  They are not expensive.

OIP.cBpYXhgPGsERsCPU5eUi3AHaFj.jpeg

I was going to build something in my backyard for my kids a few years ago. Just a series of cleverly spaced 4x4 or 6x6 posts to that they could hammock with their friends. You could actually make it look like an artistic sculpture so that it looks cool when not in use. Kind of like some of your examples above. And make the hooks at varying heights so they can do bunk-bed style if they want to, or spread out more. 

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