What's Happening Now

Learning from Olmsted and a Muddy River


Grand Rapids is not alone in its efforts to revitalize and restore a river, so what can we learn from one project already in implementation and nearly a century in the making

As Grand Rapids wades waist deep into the GR Forward planning effort this fall, the opportunities are intensifying for residents to contribute to plans that will define our community for decades. GR Forward is a comprehensive planning process of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools and their partners to engage the public in envisioning the many ways to make progress towards a holistic vision for Downtown and the Grand River.

Grand Rapids is certainly not alone in its efforts to revitalize and restore its waterfront. Many North American cities began their transformation decades- or even a century- ago, investing millions, and even billions, in their city’s future ability to manage the impacts of climate change, become a healthy place to call home and to promote a welcoming and inclusive place that matters to everyone.

So what can Grand Rapids learn from these pioneering communities, specifically in the area of creating new public lands that typify more sustainable development?

One project worth highlighting is the Muddy River Restoration Project, part of the Emerald Necklace park system in Boston. Although it isn’t the size and volume of the Grand River, it has many characteristics that can be applied in the area of flood control, water-quality improvement and habitat enhancement – all while honoring the history and landscapes of Frederick Law Olmsted’s and his belief in the social value of parks and natural areas.

Read the whole story at  therapidian.org/learning-muddy-river