Improvements to Veterans Memorial and Old Farm Parks Underway
Exciting changes are coming to Kentwood parks this fall with several construction projects now underway.
Major improvements will bring a new splash pad and playground to Veterans Memorial Park, a covered entry to the Kentwood Activities Center and a new multi-use facility at Old Farm Park.
“As construction gets underway, we ask the community to please pardon our dust and anticipate that some park amenities will be unavailable this summer,” said Val Romeo, Parks and Recreation director. “We are looking forward to opening the new and improved facilities in the fall and appreciate your patience as we make our facilities more accessible, functional and fun.”
The City received a grant to grow community engagement at Veterans Memorial Park, located at 335 48th St. Construction is tentatively set to begin in June and is slated for completion in November. Improvements include a new splash pad with a hexagonal shelter and a new restroom/changing area that will include room for programming, storage and concessions. An additional large shelter, new playground, decorative lighting, picnic tables, trash receptacles and bike racks will also be provided.
During construction, the north end of the park, which includes the north playground and swings, north soccer field, tennis, and basketball courts will all remain available for use, as well as the walking path along the creek, the Kentwood Activities Center and the majority of the parking lot. The shelter, splash pad, south playground, sand volleyball courts and south soccer field will be unavailable during construction.
Improvements to the Kentwood Activities Center, also located at 355 48th St., will include a new entrance portico, digital entrance sign and new windows on the front of the existing building.
“Many seniors visit the Kentwood Activities Center to participate in our programs,” Romeo said. “The addition of an entrance portico is an accessibility improvement with that population in mind. By protecting the entrance from rain and snow, patrons will be able to come and go without the worry of navigating slippery pavement.”
The new digital entrance sign will improve public awareness of events and allow the staff to change messages quickly. Replacing the original windows on the building will improve energy efficiency leading to positive environmental impacts.
Construction began the week of April 8 and is slated for completion in late June. The Kentwood Activities Center will remain open throughout the project. On May 3, the Parks and Recreation Department’s power will be turned off for electrical work, which will interrupt phone service. During the week of May 6, the front entry will be closed, but alternate entrances will be made available to the public.
Construction of the new multi-use building at Old Farm Park, located at 2350 Embro Drive SE, is set to begin May 2 and be completed in September. The building will have four family-style restrooms, along with room for programming and storage space. Other improvements include an enhanced central gathering space, new water main to serve the building, infrastructure for a potential future splash pad, trail replacement, landscaping and installation of irrigation.
During construction at Old Farm Park, the disc golf course, all four pickleball courts, basketball courts and small play structure will be available, as well as the walking path through the field around the park. However, the walking path along the parking lot, and the swings will be unavailable during the project.
“While some park amenities will be unavailable throughout this summer during construction, this is a great opportunity for the community to explore some of Kentwood’s other parks and trails,” Romeo said. “We have lots to offer at our community-wide system of parks and trails.”
Other Kentwood parks and trails include:
- Bowen Station Park - 4499 Bowen Blvd. SE
- Burgis Park - 4554 Burgis Ave.
- East Paris Nature Park - East Paris Ave.
- East West Trail - 4998 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
- Home Acres Park - 145 Farnham St.
- Jaycee Park - 1088 Gentian Drive SE
- Kellogg Woods Park - 275 Kellogg Woods Park Drive SE
- Northeast Park - 1900 Middleground Drive SE
- Paris Park - 3213 60th St. SE
- Paul Henry Trail – Runs through 44th Street SE and Kalamazoo Avenue south to 60th Street and Wing Avenue
- Pinewood Park - 1999 Wolfboro Drive SE
- Rondo Street Station Park - 1950 Gerda Ave. SE
- Stanaback Park - 3717 Whitebud Drive
- Stauffer Station Park - 2360 52nd St. SE
- Summerwood Park - 4689 Summer Creek Lane SE
- Wing Station - 5931 Wing Ave. SE
More information about Kentwood’s 14 parks and several miles of trails is available online at kentwood.us/parks.