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Community updates: Tuesday, June 15

Movies in the Park series returns to Grand Rapids this Friday; The Right Place launches online Diverse Business Directory; and city pools and splash pads now open.
Movies in the Park's 2019 setup, during a 2020 Green Gala fundraising event.

Movies in the Park's 2019 setup, during a 2020 Green Gala fundraising event. /Foster Memories

Movies in the Park series returns to Grand Rapids this Friday

Grand Rapids’ Movies in the Park series returns this summer, spanning five nights through August.

Hosted by nonprofit Friends of Grand Rapids Parks (FGRP), the series will kick off this Friday at Martin Luther King Park. The event and all others will feature live entertainment and activities from community partners at 7pm, with movies beginning at dusk or around 9pm.

Movies in the Park are family-friendly, free, and open to the public. To inform this season’s movie schedule, FGRP garnered more than 500 responses through a community survey.

Parks and green spaces are for all, and we hope that the Movies series helps the community feel a connection to these spaces and each other,” said Stephanie Adams, FGRP Executive Director.

The Movies in the Park schedule and featured movies are:

For pandemic-related safety, FGRP encourages attendees to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks.

More details about the Movies series, including featured live music performers, are available on FGRP’s website.


The Right Place launches Diverse Business Directory to promote economic inclusion

Local economic development nonprofit The Right Place has launched an online Diverse Business Directory for the greater Grand Rapids area.

The directory, announced last week by The Right Place, is a filterable and extensive database of minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ+-owned businesses operating within West Michigan’s 13-county region. It is housed on The Right Place’s website.

Many of the businesses listed in the Diverse Business Directory derived from the applications of businesses that previously applied for emergency COVID-19 relief grant funding throughout 2020, according to the organization. Seeking to maximize the time and effort businesses put into applying for the grants, it was able to export elements of the business’ applications and utilized them for the database.

Our organization is focused on three core pillars: People, Place, and Prosperity,” said President & CEO of The Right Place, Randy Thelen. “In order for our community to be prosperous, we have to ensure all members of our community have the tools needed to reach their full potential, and that greater Grand Rapids is a place where anyone, from any background, can thrive.”

The directory currently contains information about more than 1,200 diverse-owned businesses in West Michigan. Unlisted businesses that qualify under the U.S. Small Business Administration definition of “minority-owned” may requested to be added to the directory through The Right Place’s website.


City pools and splash pads now open

The City of Grand Rapids opened its public pools and splash pads for the summer last week. The pools are now open daily through Aug. 21, with the splash pads open daily through Sept. 12.

Public health guidelines will be in place at city pools this season. Among them are reduced capacities to allow for physical distancing and pool closures for one hour between each tree-hour open swim session to allow for facility sanitation.

After making the difficult decision to keep city pools closed last summer due to public health concerns, we are excited to return this year in a safe way,” said David Marquardt, Director for the city’s Parks and Recreation department. “Our pools and splash pads offer much needed opportunities to get active and cool off during the summer months.”

There are three public pools and 14 public splash pads across the city in total. The pools are located at Briggs Park, Martin Luther King Park, and Richmond Park.

Admission prices for city pools include $1 for Grand Rapids residents ages 17 and under, $3 for residents over 17 and non-residents 17 and under, and $5 for non-residents over 17.

A full list of city-owned pools and splash pads, including their weather-dependent hours, are available on the City of Grand Rapids’ website.


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