A Watershed Moment: Green Grand Rapids

On this week’s episode we hear from Suzanne Schulz, Planning Director for the City of Grand Rapids, as she discusses ‘Green Grand Rapids’ and the city’s environmentally bright future.

Green Grand Rapids is an update to the city’s 2002 master plan, which focuses primarily on improving the quality of life and green infrastructure in Grand Rapids, and is expecting citizens to see changes throughout the city in as soon as one year.

“City residents will see about 2,000 trees planted, they’ll see the number of bike lanes go from 7 miles to 33 miles, on-street bike facilities with signs and symbols, they’re going to hear a lot more about activating the river and restoring the Grand River with the rapids and the potential that that has; that could be a game changer for downtown,” said Schulz.

With the many changes being seen around the city, including a downtown market focused on local food expected to open next year, Green Grand Rapids already has many people and partners excited.  Schulz attributes much of the plans concepts to the Grand Rapids community.

“The input that they provide actually drives the planning process and what we end up with really is driven by what we hear and learn from the citizens of this city. That process is so effective, when we’re done citizens understand where we’re headed, what the vision of what the future of the city should be, and in the case of Green Grand Rapids, it was how could they play a role in making that really work.”

Green Grand Rapids involves a host of partners, such as the Urban Forest Project, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Grand Rapids Whitewater, WMEAC and the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition.

You can listen to the episode here.

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

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