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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Environment, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Urban & Community Economic Development

Mission: To protect, enhance and expand parks and public spaces in Grand Rapids

Geographic areas served: Grand Rapids

Programs: Develop community capacity to address issues impacting our urban forest canopy in grand rapids through a citizen forester program, tree inventory, and community web resource center.

organize, coordinate and manage volunteers to help improve parks through planning, clean ups and projects.

educate and build awareness amoung the residents of grand rapids about the benefits of parks and public spaces through the use of special events, data, research and publication.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Just recently learned about Friends of Grand Rapids Parks through local musician Kurt Denison! This is a wonderful cause and I look forward to becoming more involved.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friends of GR Parks is an exciting organization to be a part of and watch grow. They play a critical role in our community and have proven themselves to be an effective voice and advocate for urban parks and green space.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friends of Grand Rapids Park has been an positive influence in our neighborhood and the community. They link the average neighbors with the people in the city and get things done. They are working hard to keep and create new green space in the city. It is nice to know that someone is working hard to keep our city green.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

"Friends" has an incredible ED whose commitment goes above and beyond! That neighborhoods are becoming involved has to do with his leadership. Our neighbors are beginning to realize the need for such an organization as this and are getting on board. It's a lovely thing, it is!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I stumbled upon Friends of Grand Rapids Parks when they were spreading wood chips at a local dog park I go to. What a great help this is, keeping the mud down and the appearance up! I am so grateful.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is fantastic - their annual event in downtown Grand Rapids really brings the need for natural outdoor space to light to all those who live, work, and travel through Grand Rapids.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Friends of GR Parks has works incredibly hard to improve and expand green spaces and parks throughout our city. Their organization has given our citizen a single source for volunteering and helping to keep up our public spaces. I just wish they would have started earlier. :)

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

FRiends of GR Parks is a proactive, inclusive, grassroots community organization that in its very short existence has raised hundreds of friends and volunteers to support, enhance and advocate for the parks in our community. The director is a spark plug for engaging representation from all neighborhoods and has inspired involvement of political officials, funders and corporations as well in these challenging times. A number of special events in the past year have raised widespread awareness of the need to become a "friend" in order to protect and sustain the park system as a critical part of the quality of life in our community. In a short time, we have come a long way in that regard.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Friends of GR Parks was wonderful to work with when I contacted them about setting up a park clean-up. Steve, the director, was wonderful at communicating back and forth as we coordinating the clean up. He's also been great as they are planning a city-wide park clean up this spring. It's great to get the residents of neighborhoods together to help take care of our park and I'm very happy there is an organization supporting it. I also enjoy checking out their website and reading their monthly newsletter.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the kick off for Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and have been a donor. I've also served on a task force to start an "Adopt a Park" program which will further expand the role of this organization. I'm looking forward to some community spring cleanings!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks are bringing a new focus to our parks system, which has been chronically underfunded over the last decade. They have organized Park Cleanup days and have organized volunteer groups in our parks, both of which have been difficult tasks for our parks department, due to extensive staff cuts. The Friends have also been working towards more aggressive and long term solutions to our park funding, programming, development and acquisition issues. Further, they have been proponents of integrating our parks into our community life.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so grateful that the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is working to make our community a better place. The quality of life in Grand Rapids continues to improve, I attribute this success to the investment community leaders have made in developing 'Friends'. I am looking forward to watching this organization grow!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love Friends of Grand Rapids Parks. Seriously. The mission engages so many people-- and people are passionate about their parks. Last year at Parks Clean-Up Day, I met a man with his ten year old son raking, picking up trash and removing branches from our neighborhood park's open space. He told me he had just gotten off third shift (implying he hadn't slept yet) and this was a great thing to do with his son. He and his son stayed for hours cleaning up their park. Friends of Grand Rapids Parks helps engage families and their communities around their shared, open space.

9

Board Member

Rating: 4

I've worked with the Friends board, membership and executive director Steve Faber for a year. Together we continue to recruit a growing army of Friends, raise money, build partnerships and upset the status quo in City Hall - all in the service of better parks, a stronger economy, improved environmental stewardship and a healthier community. The organization is solutions-oriented, with the elbow grease and credibility in the community to get the job done.