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Grand Rapids leaders launch Yes! GR Parks campaign

Community leaders have introduced a proposal of a new property tax to increase funds for city parks that will appear on the ballot November 5.
Children enjoy Cherry Park, one of the 73 city parks

Children enjoy Cherry Park, one of the 73 city parks /Steven Depolo

When the splash pool was open, many came to enjoy it

When the splash pool was open, many came to enjoy it /Yes! GR Parks Campaign

Now the splash pool is drained and sits empty

Now the splash pool is drained and sits empty /Yes! GR Parks Campaign

On September 6, Grand Rapids citizens stood in an abandoned splash pool in Cherry Park to hear about the Yes! GR Parks campaign. The proposal to improve parks and implement a new property tax will appear on the ballot November 5.

This tax includes a .98 millage on property taxes and will be in effect for seven years. Looking at a house with a market value of $89,000, the tax would equate to about $3.66 per month. This tax is estimated to raise $4 million dollars a year which will be put towards parks.

Over 90% of current parks in Grand Rapids were ranked as "C grade" parks. Grand Rapids leaders including Mayor George Heartwell and executive director of Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Stephen Faber discuss the decline of parks in the city.

"No department has seen more cuts than parks. It is down to a third of what it once was," says Faber. "The park is held together with duct tape and when things can't be fixed-they just remove them."

"[Parks are] a place where family happens," says Heartwell. "There are kids playing on antiquated and possibly dangerous equipment."

The money from property taxes will go towards fixing and replacing park equipment, maintaining restrooms and ensuring handicap accessibility. The pools at Richmond Park, Martin Luther King JR Park and Briggs Parks will be availible for 12 weeks instead of the current seven weeks. The pools at Highland Park, Lincoln Park and Campau Park will be replaced with different kinds of water playgrounds that will be more sustainable.

Grand Rapids Urban League President Joe Jones discusses the possible benefits of improving city parks.

"Access to public parks and recreational facilities has been strongly linked to reductions in crime and in particular to reduced juvenile delinquency," says Jones. "Recreational facilities help to keep youth off the streets, give them a safe environment and fill up time."

Campaign leaders also expect improved parks to increase property values, strengthen community and make neighborhoods more attractive. More information about the proposal can be found at

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There are few persons in the society those who are highly required in our society such as the leaders those who carry out different procedures required in our society. In the above case there are many types of park settlement which are only done by the help of different leaders who help the other people to grow.