The Rapidian Home

Community Updates: Friday, February 17

Grand Rapidians encouraged to participate in Community Master Plan process by attending upcoming "launch party" events; City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Community College to host two 'Water Pool-ooza' events to educate students, families; and more
Downtown Grand Rapids and the Grand River

Downtown Grand Rapids and the Grand River /John Rothwell

Grand Rapidians Encouraged to Participate in Community Master Plan Process by Attending Upcoming "Launch Party" Events

Next week, the City of Grand Rapids will be holding three public "launch party" events in each of the City's three wards. These events, part of the City's 'Bridge to Our Future' campaign, will be a platform for residents to share their visions of the future of Grand Rapids and help guide the creation of the new Grand Rapids Community Master Plan.

According to a press release that was sent out on February 13th, the Community Master Plan will act as a 20-year "blueprint" for the City when it comes to things such as mobility, infrastructure, and housing (among many other issues). As such, City leadership, including the 47 members of the Grand Rapids Community Master Plan Steering Committee, have organized next week's events as a way to gain insight from Grand Rapidians regarding what they want to see happen in the City over the next several years. In Monday's press release, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss made the following statement about the importance of engaging with the community during this process:  

"We believe the people who choose to build a life in our city every day have the vision and the best ideas for what Grand Rapids should be like in the future. Whether we're talking about housing, equity, mobility, environmental justice, economic development or just the overall look and feel of our neighborhoods, we think our residents know best. We look forward to hearing from them."

Residents are encouraged to attend at least one of these events, even if they cannot make the one scheduled in the ward they reside in. Food and activities will be available at each of these events. To ensure that there are enough supplies for everyone, those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP online here.

The schedule provided by the City is as follows: 

Tuesday, February 21 5:00pm - 7:00pm GRPS University  2
Wednesday, February 22 5:00pm - 7:00pm Union High School 1
Thursday, February 23 5:00pm - 7:00pm Alger Middle School 3

There will also be more opportunities for community engagement and resident input in coming months.

For more information about the Grand Rapids Community Master Plan Steering Committee and the overall Community Master Plan process, visit the City of Grand Rapids' website here


City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Community College to Host Two 'Water Pool-ooza' Events to Educate Students, Families

The City of Grand Rapids, in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC), has announced that there will be two 'Water Pool-ooza' events coming up at the end of February and the beginning of March. With support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), interested students in the fourth through twelfth grades (and their families) can attend these events to learn more about the water system and possible careers within it.

The first event, scheduled for Saturday, February 25th, will take place at the Lake Michigan Filtration Plant in Grand Rapids. During this session, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about drinking water and the filtration process, as well as participate in "interactive activities" that will allow them to explore possible careers within the water system. The February 25th event will run from 10:00am to 1:00pm.

The second 'Water Pool-ooza' event is scheduled for Saturday, March 11th at the Leslie E. Tassell M-TEC, GRCC's job/workplace training center. There, attendees will get to "learn more about water sustainability, conservation, and careers through activities led by nonprofit and community partners." This event will take place from 10:00am to 2:00pm.

According to Hillary Caron, the Grand Rapids Water System's water education and programs coordinator:

 "Water Pool-ooza will provide students with hands-on activities, taught by water professionals, community partners and nonprofits, that are designed to expose them to a variety of water-related issues and careers... Water Pool-ooza will educate school students about the importance and beauty of the water around us and how it impacts our daily lives... They will learn about diverse topics related to our water resources and begin to understand their role as water stewards and champions." 

For more information about these 'Water Pool-ooza' events, including a list of organizations that will be providing activities and speakers, visit the City of Grand Rapids' website here


Also in the News:

  • In honor of Black History Month, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (in partnership with GRTV) will be filming an interview with the son of Rev. Lyman S. Parks, the first black mayor of Grand Rapids. The interview with Lyman Parks Jr. will take place on Tuesday, February 28 and will premiere on the GRPM's Facebook page and YouTube channel.


  • The City of Grand Rapids has announced that, in observance of President's Day on Monday, February 20, the majority of City offices (excluding the GRPL, GRPD, and GRFD) will be closed. For more information, visit the City's website here.    


Sharing Your Stories

The Rapidian encourages local residents to share their own stories related to civic, economic, and public health developments in the Grand Rapids area on The Rapidian’s platform. To get started as a community reporter, visit

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.