People and places: Treehouse in Ottawa County, free Wi-Fi in GR parks and more

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Grand Ravines Park is a 202-acre park located in Ottawa County. Courtesy Ottawa County Parks

Treehouse at Grand Ravines

The Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission plans to add a treehouse to one of its most scenic and beloved parks. The treehouse will be constructed just off the Idema Explorers Trail route at Grand Ravines County Park and will feature a rustic design with multiple overlook locations providing a unique tree-top perspective of the descending ravine.

The treehouse will stand 40 feet above the ravine edge where it starts to descend steeply to the creek bottom. The treehouse will be dedicated to Bea Aldrink Idema, and designs were expected to commence in the spring with construction to begin later this year.

Grand Ravines was recognized by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association for the special natural features and array of amenities it offers.

Free Wi-Fi in GR parks

Free public Wi-Fi now is available in 10 Grand Rapids parks thanks to a pilot program supported by CARES Act funding. The Network in a Box program aims to bridge the digital divide in Grand Rapids that widened during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing year-round outdoor internet access.

The NIB hotspots have a range of approximately 900 feet and can support up to 50 devices at one time. Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Belknap Park, Briggs Park, Fish Ladder Park, Garfield Park, MacKay-Jaycees Park, Martin Luther King Park, Richmond Park, Riverside Park and Roosevelt Park are among the parks selected.

Pedestrian mall coming to GVSU

The Mount Vernon redevelopment project will include a new pedestrian pathway with tables, benches and a non-motorized bike trail. Rendering courtesy Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University plans to transform Mount Vernon Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids into a pedestrian mall.

The Mount Vernon redevelopment project will include a new pedestrian pathway with tables, benches and a non-motorized bike trail. There also will be plaza areas with raised planters, seat walls, art walls and green space for student recreation and university events.

The pathway will connect four GVSU buildings: Peter F. Secchia Hall, Winter Hall, the L. William Seidman Center and the Bicycle Factory.

The $3.9 million project is scheduled to be finished by August and will be funded through the Strategic Capital Reserve Fund.

These stories can be found in the July/August 2021 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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