Hammock grove, butterfly garden added to city park

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Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

A new recreational space in Grand Rapids offers a blend of nature, art and leisure.

The city’s parks and recreation department recently unveiled a new hammock grove and butterfly garden at Briggs Park, 324 Knapp St. NE in Grand Rapids.

The space features brightly colored wooden structures with hooks for visitors to attach their own hammocks. Volunteers will plant native pollinator species in the center of the space with the help of Hum Native Plantscapes this fall.

David Marquardt, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the area creates a unique space for the community.

“Multiuse spaces like this help us achieve our mission of collaborative stewardship of our natural, educational and cultural resources,” Marquardt said.

The new space also serves as public art piece and was reimagined by the Creston Neighborhood Association, Lions & Rabbits Center for the Arts and local artist Craig Merchant.

Merchant said his goal was to create a space where the community can interact with the artwork and use the park in an original way.

“I wanted the artwork to connect visitors to nature and the pollinator garden,” Merchant said. “The vibrant colors were inspired by the different seasons and the center structures provide a habitat for caterpillars to build their chrysalides.”

Funds for this project came from the voter-approved parks millage. VIRIDIS Design Group and local landscaper Katerberg VerHage served on the project team.

Briggs Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

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