Rosa Parks Circle rededicated after restoration

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Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids rededicated a popular recreation space after a yearlong renovation project.

City officials on Friday, June 17, rededicated “Ecliptic” at Rosa Parks Circle with a ribbon cutting ceremony in partnership with the Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy.

The park reopened to the public on June 1 following completion of its restoration.

Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt said impressive public use had taken its toll over the past 20 years, but the restoration will elevate and preserve it for continued use.

“When this space was first dedicated over 20 years ago, we never could have anticipated ‘Ecliptic’s’ success,” Marquardt said. “With over 700,000 annual visitors, it was clear that this project would benefit the residents of Grand Rapids and beyond in a major way.”

Improvements to “Ecliptic” at Rosa Parks Circle include upgrades to the stage, replacement of the existing concrete rings with durable granite, renovations to the restroom building, new granite and wood benches, interpretive signage, upgraded trail surfacing and additional shade trees. A new 3D bronze plaque and sitemap is expected to be installed later this summer.

The 3.5-acre structure was created by artist and architect Maya Lin in 2000. “Ecliptic”’s theme of water in all forms — liquid, solid and vapor — is a nod to the city’s name and conveys the idea of a drop of water in a still pool with rings moving outward.

“This important renovation honors Maya Lin’s artistic vision and ensures the space can be enjoyed for decades to come,” said Tripp Frey from the Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy.

The $3 million renovation project was made possible through $860,000 of funding from the city’s parks millage and $550,000 from the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. Remaining costs were provided by private philanthropic donations through the Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy.

Grand Rapids-based architecture firm Progressive AE and Grand Rapids-based Granger Construction Company were the contractors on to the project.

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