City opening library of gear for outdoor recreation

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Borrowing from the gear library will be free of charge, and the equipment on loan will be for camping, yard games and sports, outdoor comfort and hiking Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

The city of Grand Rapids is opening a library to provide more equitable access to outdoor activities in underserved communities.

The city said Thursday, Oct. 7, it will host a ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 11, for the Parks & Recreation Department’s Gear Library at Roosevelt Park Lodge, at 739 Van Raalte Drive SW in Grand Rapids.

Rosalynn Bliss, mayor; Mark Washington, city manager; Leadriane Roby, superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Schools; Shannon L. Harris, Our Community’s Children executive director; Ron Yob, chair of the Grand River Bands of Ottawa Indians; Esme Garcia, community outreach coordinator of the Cook Arts Center; and Sam Truby, gear library supervisor, will be present for the event.

“The city of Grand Rapids’ Parks and Recreation Department has activated a gear library to provide more equitable access to outdoor activities, especially in underserved communities that are green deficient,” the city said. “Grand Rapids is one of eight Thrive Outside Communities celebrating National Thrive Outside Day (on Oct. 9). The ribbon cutting is one of two events that will celebrate the transformative benefits of the outdoors.”

Borrowing from the gear library will be free of charge, and the equipment on loan will be for camping, yard games and sports, outdoor comfort and hiking.

Funding and gear for the project was provided by the Outdoor Foundation, Wolverine Worldwide, Merrell, Moosejaw, Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus and UGQ Outdoor.

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