River for All aims to return the Grand River to its rightful place as the iconic center of Grand Rapids. It’s doing this by creating a connected and equitable river corridor that restores the historical relationship between the Grand River and the people of Grand Rapids. River for All will implement the vision and direction of several interconnected plans.
The process of reimagining the river has taken place over many years. From the start, community forums, public meetings, design charettes, stakeholder interviews and door-to-door canvassing have encouraged resident involvement. To date, more than 16,000 individuals have helped create a series of plans for the future of the Grand River.
The Grand Rapids Master Plan, adopted by the City in 2002, envisioned a more visible and accessible river. This plan became Green Grand Rapids and expanded with ideas for green infrastructure, connectivity and recreational uses for public health.
Grand Rapids Whitewater emerged to focus on restoring the city’s namesake rapids to improve the river’s health and create new recreational opportunities. GR Forward, a partnership between the City and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., offered plans for a regional river trail system and enhanced neighborhood access to the river. In 2017, the Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Strategic Master Plan conceptualized a connected network of riverfront parks.
These plans, shaped by our community, reimagine the river as a place of beauty, connection and activity that will enhance our community. River for All serves as the convener, uniting the City of Grand Rapids, nonprofits, businesses and the community in a shared vision.