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The history of Owashtenong, the Grand River, is embedded in the area’s indigenous origins. The river has long defined this corner of the Great Lakes region and the lives of all those who have ever called it home. The rapids themselves have marked centuries of human settlement and the river and its surrounding forest shaped the industrial past that led to the growth of the City of Grand Rapids. In the future, the Grand River Corridor will once again be fundamental in shaping new opportunities for the city of Grand Rapids. The City's vision is for the river and its many assets to be shared by every member of the Grand Rapids community and truly be a ‘River for All’.


VIRIDIS Design Group partnered with WENK Associates from Denver, Colorado and local firm Williams & Works to create guidelines that establish general and specific requirements for the design of the 7.5-mile-long edge of the Grand River at and above the normal high-water level. The team formulated a cohesive and accessible river corridor system to serve the entire Grand Rapids community through a two-year public engagement process.


Major in-river modifications completed as part of the dam removal (Grand River Whitewater Project) will result in expanded recreational opportunities and river edge redevelopment. Removal of existing flood management walls in selected areas will expand public access and enhance the city’s economic vitality. The city riverbanks will be improved in less urbanized areas where no walls are required. In-stream improvements will expand river access and improve habitat.



Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan

Size: 7.5 Mile corridor of waterfront

Client: City of Grand Rapids

Collaborative Team: Wenk Associates,

   Williams & Works

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