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Community Updates: Friday, June 17

The Heritage Hill Association announces the 2022 Heritage Hill Garden Tour; the City of Grand Rapids encourages Grand Rapidians to stay safe in the summer heat; and more
A salmon carved into a rock overlooking the Grand River and the Blue Bridge.

A salmon carved into a rock overlooking the Grand River and the Blue Bridge. /Tiffany Szakal

The Heritage Hill Association Announces the 2022 Heritage Hill Garden Tour

This weekend, several historic Heritage Hill homes will open their garden spaces to visitors for the 2022 Heritage Hill Garden Tour. According to a press release from the Heritage Hill Association, the tour will take place between 9:00am and 3:00pm on Saturday, June 18 and will include twelve gardens -- most of them belonging to private residences. Some of the most well known properties included in this event are the Voigt House (a Victorian-era mansion built in the mid-1890s for Grand Rapids businessman Carl Voigt) and the Meyer May House (a 1908 home designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright). However, there will be a number of other gardens featured on this tour -- including some with fountains, statues, and outdoor kitchens. 

To purchase tickets or to get more information, visit the Heritage Hill Association's website here.


The City of Grand Rapids Encourages Grand Rapidians to Stay Safe in the Summer Heat 

Earlier this week, Grand Rapids (and many other cities across the country) experienced a heat wave that saw Grand Rapidians sweating their way through heat indexes that were upwards of 100 degrees. In response, both the state and the city posted a number of tips about how to stay safe in the summer heat on social media. Firstly, they advised people to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. For example, symptoms of heat exhaustion may include:

  • Dizziness/headaches
  • Clammy, pale skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness/fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Fainting

People experiencing heat exhaustion should immediately seek cooler environments (such as spaces with air conditioning), drink cool water, and get medical attention if these symptoms get worse or last longer than an hour. The symptoms of heat stroke are very similar to those of heat exhaustion, but also may include:

  • Rapid/strong pulse
  • Hot, red skin
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech/confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

People experiencing heat stroke should be taken to a cooler place right away and measures should be taken to cool them down. They should also not be given anything to drink. Additionally, heat stroke is considered a medical emergency and medical attention should be sought immediately by calling 911. Young children, adults over 65 years of age, and individuals on certain medications are at the highest risk of heat stroke -- as are people who regularly perform manual labor or strenuous exercise outside. Also, remember that pets can experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke too! 

For those who do not have air conditioning at home or need to find a place to cool down, the City of Grand Rapids has also released information about a number of "cooling centers" around town, including:

  • Any Kent District Library location (during business hours)
  • Mel Trotter Ministries (Commerce Avenue or Division Avenue; open from 7:00am - 3:00pm)
  • Degage Ministries (Division Steet; open from 7:00am - 7:00pm)

While the heat advisory in Grand Rapids is no longer active as of Wednesday night, the first day of summer is rapidly approaching and temperatures in Grand Rapids are expected to rise into the high-80s/low-90s again next week.   


Also in the News:

  • On Tuesday, June 21, the Fulton Street Farmer's Market will be hosting a Summer Solstice Celebration from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. The event will feature live music, adult beverages, concessions, and child-friendly activities -- as well as a beautiful floral arch made by Fae Floral. 


  • Kent County has announced that it is making changes to the current structure of animal control and the animal shelter. Starting in July, the animal shelter will become its own department while animal control duties will be taken over by the Kent County Sheriff's Office.


  • Grand Rapids City Manager Mark Washington announced in a Wednesday press release that he has officially "[terminated] Christopher Schurr's employment with the City." This comes about a week after Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker announced his decision to charge Schurr with second-degree murder in the death of Patrick Lyoya. 


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