GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Students at Burton Elementary and Middle School in Grand Rapids are one step closer to having an improved learning environment.
Grand Rapids Public Schools and the city revealed design plans for Plaster Creek Park and the Burton Green schoolyard.
The improvements are part of the Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative. A $25,000 planning grant from the National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network will help pay for the improvements.
Grand Rapids is one seven cities across the country to receive the planning grant. The Plaster Creek Park/Burton Green School Yard is one of two projects the city is planning as part of this grant.
The new design will include restroom improvements, irrigation and lighting control upgrades, removal of the northern baseball field, and a natural playscape . Construction is set to begin this summer.
The natural playscape will include hillside slides, log play features, a vegetable garden, benches and gathering areas, trees, and native plantings.
The natural playscape and restored native landscape will provide students with a number of learning opportunities for biology, physics, art, writing, natural history, teamwork and more.
In addition to the grant and private donations the partnership between the city and schools will be funded using $200,000 of parks millage funds approved by voters.