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Photo stations get public involved in restoration project

These new photo stations will help monitor the project's progress.

It couldn't be easier to be a part of the Grand River Restoration project.

"If you're downtown and you want to be part of a larger science project, snap a picture," says Stephanie Ogren, Vice President of Science and Education at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

New photo stations were set up on Thursday at five points along the Downtown Grand Rapids riverfront.

"We really wanted to see how can people visualize the changes that are going to happen," explains Wendy Ogilvie, Director of Environmental Programs with the Grand Valley Metro Council. "So being able to have photos at the exact same spot over a course of time can really show that transformation of the river."

One of the major goals of the restoration project is to bring back the natural rapids to downtown by taking out some of the aging dams. These new photo stations will help monitor the progress.

You just take a picture by placing your phone in the brackets and follow the directions.

"There's instructions right on the sign," says Ogilvie. "They can either use a #RiverRestoration or they can just email it to info@lgrow.org"

Your photos will be used as a time lapse you can view online, showing how much the environment has shifted.

"Over the next 10 years we'll be looking at how this restoration project has changed the way we've connected to the river," says Marty Holtgren, a biologist on the Grand River Restoration Project.

The project aims to create a safer river experience for recreation like fishing and kayaking, while also bringing it as close to its natural state as possible.

Work is slated to begin next year.

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