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West Michigan Park Projects - Updates


grandrollerz

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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 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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  • 5 months later...

6 More pickleball courts coming to Belknap Park.  Wish we could get some love for the Tennis courts of GR!

Also, 3 new park projects proposed as the city looks to grant funding for improvements.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/02/greenspace-would-be-turned-into-new-park-as-part-of-grand-rapids-grant-request-for-3-projects.html

Mary Free Bed has done some wheelchair pickleball clinics at Belknap and I can say that, yes...ADA walkways and accessible parking spots are sorely needed.  

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19 minutes ago, grandrollerz said:

6 More pickleball courts coming to Belknap Park.  Wish we could get some love for the Tennis courts of GR!

Also, 3 new park projects proposed as the city looks to grant funding for improvements.

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/02/greenspace-would-be-turned-into-new-park-as-part-of-grand-rapids-grant-request-for-3-projects.html

Mary Free Bed has done some wheelchair pickleball clinics at Belknap and I can say that, yes...ADA walkways and accessible parking spots are sorely needed.  

pickleball is all the rage. It's actually probably better for that area than Tennis courts. I remember playing tennis there in High School, and an errant ball over the fence meant running all the way down the hill mid match to fetch it (since they only gave us three balls to work with). :) Probably harder to get enough air under a pickleball. :)

Sounds like a great addition to the park. Seems like Belknap Park could focus on exercise and running with the area being popular with runners and pickleballers (LOL). 

Joe

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd love to say the city and/or friends of GR parks took action on my emails to them about a hammock park....but it sure looks like it's going to happen at Briggs!  Thank you Creston Neighborhood Assoc and Lions and Rabbit ( <-- they are doing great things!).

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grs-briggs-park-getting-hammock-grove-butterfly-garden/

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Over here in East Hills, the EHNA is trying to fit in some space at Cherry Park for the numerous doggos in the neighborhood to have a little time to use to run around. They have set aside some hours for them inside when the park is usually empty.

I think the city should explore purchasing (or renting) some part of the land across the street to put in something a bit more spacious and maybe permanent since it is basically sitting unused.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

18 hours ago, CalderCity946 said:

This is more Kent County parks, but FYI rumor is the bulk of the old silver lake country club is going to be converted to a county park and the remaining land is going to be housing. 

Well as long as you brought up Kent County Parks in this thread, the county is also seriously considering buying Cannonsburg Ski Resort:

  WOODTV: kent-county-could-buy-cannonsburg

random coincidence I suppose that Cannonsburg and Silver Lake Country Club are only about ten minutes from each other.

EDIT: Might as well add the Mlive article link :

MLIVE: kent-county-eyes-purchase-of-272-acre-cannonsburg-ski-hill-outdoor-rec-area

Edited by walker
added another link
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12 hours ago, walker said:

Well as long as you brought up Kent County Parks in this thread, the county is also seriously considering buying Cannonsburg Ski Resort:

  WOODTV: kent-county-could-buy-cannonsburg

random coincidence I suppose that Cannonsburg and Silver Lake Country Club are only about ten minutes from each other.

EDIT: Might as well add the Mlive article link :

MLIVE: kent-county-eyes-purchase-of-272-acre-cannonsburg-ski-hill-outdoor-rec-area

Pando property is contiguous with Pickerel Lake park, and Silver Lake across the street.  I think they're aiming at something really substantial...

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4 hours ago, cstonesparty said:

Pando property is contiguous with Pickerel Lake park, and Silver Lake across the street.  I think they're aiming at something really substantial...

Doesn't Cannonsburg own Pando? Or did they just buy the ski facilities? I know that Pando's claim to fame in the later years was tubing, and I'm pretty sure Cannonsburg bought that out. 

It seems logical for Cannonsburg to become county owned. I'm glad they're keeping the ski facilities. It's a good slope for young kids and snowboarders, and area schools pretty much dominate the hill through winter ski season. I don't know what ski teams in the area would do (maybe not exist?) if they didn't have Cannonsburg to practice on.

Joe 

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3 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Doesn't Cannonsburg own Pando? Or did they just buy the ski facilities? I know that Pando's claim to fame in the later years was tubing, and I'm pretty sure Cannonsburg bought that out. 

It seems logical for Cannonsburg to become county owned. I'm glad they're keeping the ski facilities. It's a good slope for young kids and snowboarders, and area schools pretty much dominate the hill through winter ski season. I don't know what ski teams in the area would do (maybe not exist?) if they didn't have Cannonsburg to practice on.

Joe 

Pando was purchased by Cannonsburg and as I recall that included the property...

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55 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Thai will be huge for the river activation projects, as well as the number of trails in Grand Rapids:

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/03/infrastructure-deal-includes-55m-transformational-investment-for-grand-rapids-parks-trails.html

There's been a lot of buzz about that. It will be interesting to see how this gets allocated. Hopefully the rapids project gets first priority. 

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On 3/25/2022 at 3:43 PM, cstonesparty said:

Pando was purchased by Cannonsburg and as I recall that included the property...

I've seen elsewhere recently that supposedly Cannonsburg purchased the business and the Pando property was retained by the family that owned it.  I don't know which is accurate...

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14 minutes ago, cstonesparty said:

I've seen elsewhere recently that supposedly Cannonsburg purchased the business and the Pando property was retained by the family that owned it.  I don't know which is accurate...

I've heard that too, that Cannonsburg just purchased the equipment and the land is still owned by the family. 

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I've heard that too, that Cannonsburg just purchased the equipment and the land is still owned by the family. 

Smart move. I don't think Pando was worth much (from a ski operation) in the end, except for the tubing operation (which Cannonsburg seems to be successful with now). From what I remember, the land Pando owns is beautiful. I'm sure that was the main value of the property. 

One of the coolest things about Pando is it was one of the birthplaces of Snowboarding. Jake Burton brought his "modified snurfer" to Pando for a snurfing competition. He had water ski bindings of some sort fixed to the snurfer. Since he didn't fit in the normal category, they made a new one and he one it. 

Pando used to have a note from Jake Burton in its "lodge". Always thought that was a really cool piece of history that Pando was involved with.

Joe 

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

From what I remember, the land Pando owns is beautiful. I'm sure that was the main value of the property. 

 

Pickerel Lake park, Camp Roger, and the former Pando property abut one another.  That’s a beautiful area and that property hopefully doesn’t become a housing development at some point.  

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I noticed this on Live: 

  • To the east: A rails-to-trails project that links downtown riverfront, the Belknap neighborhood, Highland Park, Midtown, Ada and Lowell on the eastern edge of Kent County

Is this the railroad that runs from Belknap out to the Airport?  Are they abandoning that route for train traffic?

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/03/with-historic-55m-investment-grand-rapids-officials-set-sights-on-transformative-park-trail-projects.html

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No this track does not go to the airport. Former Grand trunk  that went to Durand. Now ends in Lowell.  They run 2-3 times a week to Amway in Ada (not much traffic) and to King Milling in Lowell. Rails to Trails means the rails get removed and a trail built.  The RR is not receptive to a trail on their property.

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2 hours ago, Raildude&#x27;s dad said:

No this track does not go to the airport. Former Grand trunk  that went to Durand. Now ends in Lowell.  They run 2-3 times a week to Amway in Ada (not much traffic) and to King Milling in Lowell. Rails to Trails means the rails get removed and a trail built.  The RR is not receptive to a trail on their property.

Oh, right, I'm thinking of the one that crosses Burton near Kalamazoo.  So this is the one that is North of Michigan to the Beltline, then south of Fuller, then North of Grand Rive Dr?  If so, that would make a really nice trail!

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8 hours ago, Raildude&#x27;s dad said:

No this track does not go to the airport. Former Grand trunk  that went to Durand. Now ends in Lowell.  They run 2-3 times a week to Amway in Ada (not much traffic) and to King Milling in Lowell. Rails to Trails means the rails get removed and a trail built.  The RR is not receptive to a trail on their property.

I think you're saying that as long as the RR is running on that line, then a trail cannot be developed. Seems to me though that at the rate Amway is going, they won't be needing the train for very much longer... 

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Amway is not the big user, King Milling is. They get 20-30 cars at a time of western wheat. They recently shipped out a few cars of flour , first time in 30? years. I don't see rucks as an alternative for inbound wheat.

I've looked at the RR property for a trail. for a number of  years. There's a lot of area where the track bed is in wetlands. Can't build a trail there unless it's boardwalk and IF and that's a big IF, the RR will allow it. Boar walks are $$ to build, slippery when wet and need maintenance. 

There is a good location for a trail. My boss and I have both scoped it out :).

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  • GRDadof3 changed the title to West Michigan Park Projects - Updates

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