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My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee | Environment

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My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee
My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids has taken the next step in restoring the Grand River, from Lamoreaux to Millennium Park.

Collabarating with Grand Rapids Whitewater, the city this week appointed 22 people to serve on a newly formed Grand River Restoration Steering Committee.  The panel of local leaders will guide efforts in restoring the Grand River and its riverbank, make sure river studies and projects are effectively communicated, garner support for restoring the river, encourage fundraising and explore potential long-term management options for the river.  The steering committee will advise the city commission on any projects tied to the Grand River.   However, final decisions will be made by commissioners.

The steering committee is composed of:

  • Patty Birkholz, West Michigan Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters and West Michigan Environmental Leadership Network
  • Steve Faber, Executive Director, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
  •  Ryan Huppert, Principal, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • George Heartwell, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids
  • John Helmholdt, Executive Director of Communications & External Affairs, Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Scott Hicks, Field Office Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Rachel Hood, Executive Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Joe Jones, President and CEO, Grand Rapids Urban League
  • Fred Keller, Founder and CEO, Cascade Engineering
  • Kris Larson, President and CEO, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.
  • Megan Lemmen, Student
  • James Moyer, Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning, Grand Valley State University
  • Chris Muller, Co-Founder, Grand Rapids Whitewater
  • Veronica Ramirez Garcia, Executive Director, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Larry Romanelli, Ogema (Chief), Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
  • Rodney Stokes, Special Advisor, Office of Governor Rick Snyder
  • Greg Sundstrom, City Manager, City of Grand Rapids
  • Mary Swanson, Assistant Administrator, Kent County
  • Jim Talen, County Commissioner, Kent County
  • Rick Treur, City of Grand Rapids Planning Commission
  • Jerry Tubergen, President and CEO, RDV Corporation
  • Kristian Williams, Resource Conservationist, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service

Grand Rapids Whitewater is a nonprofit group focused on restoring the Grand River’s rapids for recreational purposes.

The city plans to appoint a River Corridor Plan Committee next month to verse community planning and engagement.