City of Grand Rapids Parks
Highland Park Master Plan & Engineering
Kent County, Michigan
Highland Park is a nearly 30 acre recreational space just east of the Medical Mile in downtown Grand Rapids. Its picturesque landscapes, natural features, and centralized play areas make it a popular place in the city to recreate. Today, Highland Park has many amenities, including a playground, splash pad, disc golf, course, community garden, walking path, rugby field, open green spaces, and access to Coldbrook Creek.
In 2021, the city began exploring alternative recreational elements that could be included at Highland Park. Williams & Works provided planning and engineering services to first update the park master plan design. This began with the assessment of various alternative recreational elements for inclusion based on feedback from local neighborhood groups, community members, and stakeholders. Multiple character areas already exist in the park, so the interaction between differing site elements was carefully considered. Additionally, because of the unique topography and limited access points to the park, circulation patterns, trails, and parking were a primary focus of the plan update.
The second phase of this work included implementation. The first temporary Grand Rapids boulder (rock climbing) wall was installed in 2022 and is acting as a test project to determine the success of a later permanent feature. Following this, engineered plans for a new accessible trail loop, a reconfigured parking area, lighting, and two new multi-sport courts that include bike polo, basketball, roller hockey, and other small-scale court sports were designed.