The Rapidian

Community invited to celebrate the completion of the Joe Taylor Park reconstruction and expansion on Wednesday June 29th


Contact: Jay Steffen, GR Parks & Rec., 456-4234



Wednesday, June 29 at 12:30pm with ribbon cutting ceremony
What: The completion of Joe Taylor Park celebrates a nearly decade-long project to expand this 
urban park in the Baxter Neighborhood, nearly doubling its size.  
WHY: The vision for this park expansion was created by the neighbors starting in 2003 when the 
City held meetings to update the City's Master Plan and the Parks and Recreation Five Year 
Master Plan. In 2009, the Green Grand Rapids Master Plan also designated several areas of our 
city deficient in green space, including this severely underserved community, and engaged the 
community to create a new park plan for the area.  Joe Taylor Park began humbly in 1976, when 
several houses were demolished and combined with vacant lots to create an open space.  It was 
named Baxter Green until 1992, when it was renamed for Joe Taylor, a city police officer who was shot and killed in 1986.
WHO: The park reconstruction and expansion was made possible thanks to public and private
support and input from community stakeholders in the Baxter neighborhood. Funding for the 
park came from a Capital Improvement Fund Bond, a Community Development Block Grant and 
a gift from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation through Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, 
who also established an endowment to help ensure the park can be maintained and improved over 
WHERE: Joe Taylor Park, 940 Baxter St SE (picnic shelter) – speakers followed by ribbon 
cutting and light refreshments.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 29th
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