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Eastown's annual Picnic in the Park to plant 15 new trees

On May 9, the Eastown Community Association will partner with Friends of GR Parks to increase the shade canopy at Sigsbee Park.
Volunteers painting park benches

Volunteers painting park benches /Courtesy of the Eastown Community Association

Underwriting support from:

Performance Schedule

12:00-1:00 p.m. Wazobia

1:00-1:30 p.m. Aerial Tactic - a break dance crew of the Cook Arts Center


Volunteers cleaning up the memorial garden

Volunteers cleaning up the memorial garden /Courtesy of Eastown Community Association

Crowd favorite, Wazobia

Crowd favorite, Wazobia /Courtesy of Eastown Community Association

The Eastown Community Association (ECA) is hosting its annual Picnic in the Park on Saturday, May 9 at Sigsbee Park. This year, they are starting off the day by partnering with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to plant 15 trees.

Lindsey Ruffin, Executive Director of the ECA, says she's excited about Picnic in the Park this year.

"It's all about our residents and community," says Ruffin. "This park is maintained by residents who simply want a nice place for kids to play and for all of us to enjoy. This year is extra special because we are planting the 15 trees! One thing about this park is that there is not very much shade, so we look forward to these trees growing and giving us some nice shade in the hot summer months."

Ruffin works with Friends of GR Parks on a regular basis at park cleanups and tree plantings. ECA worked with Katie Chase to decide which trees to plant and where to place them.

"We are lucky enough to have Katie Chase on our Green Space Committee. She is a landscape architect and developed the plan for the park including which trees to plant," says Ruffin.

Picnic in the Park is a regular Eastown event which has been held at all the area parks.

"This is my third year organizing the picnic but it was going on for a few years before that. It would alternate between Wilcox and Sigsbee park but now I coordinate it just at Sigsbee since we have so many other work days at Wilcox," Ruffin says. "This event is a time to show some love to Sigsbee Park and residents. Sigsbee Park is largely maintained by residents in the neighborhood and we want to thank them for their ongoing work. We also try to utilize the park as much as we can and provide a safe, fun place for kids to play."

Volunteers will work to clean up the park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then plant the new trees. At noon, there will be food, music, performers, and kids' activities.

The Picnic in the Park is free and open to the public. All events will take place at Sigsbee Park, located at 1250 Sigsbee SE.

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