Uptown GR, Inc. exists to support the small businesses and communities that it houses, and its
latest plan to do so means for new ways to spend time outdoors in Uptown.
In collaboration with its business associations as well as the city of Grand Rapids, Uptown has committed to up to four total social zones
to be added at various points throughout their district. The zones will offer seating available to any and all guests of Uptown and its
businesses. The goal will be to encourage patrons to enjoy the district and its offerings in a way that allows for appropriate social
distancing during this time of COVID-19. Additionally, Uptown seeks to support its businesses who would greatly benefit as they will be
able to offer these zones to their guests without having had to incur the expense of providing them, as the pandemic has hit local
businesses particularly hard this year. The district is currently planning to have the zones ready for use by early September.
All furnishings needed to complete these zones will be handmade by volunteers. Materials will consist of donated and/or locally found
wood. Thus far, donations made include pallets from Kemp Pallet, supplies from Orion Construction, and furnishing design from Tim
Johnson of Artisan Builders.
Per Ingrid Miller, Executive Director of Uptown GR, Inc.: “Uptown is pleased to be able to both support its local businesses and welcome
the community to enjoy our district in a way that is in its best interests for safe and healthy engagement at this time. A core mission of our
organization is to support and sustain a strong, vibrant – and safe – district for our visitors and residents, and it is with this mission in
mind that we have created these zones.”
All volunteer efforts have been made in partnership with Friends of Grand Rapids. This effort still needs additional materials and skilled
volunteers to be fully completed.
To make a donation or to volunteer, please reach to Friends of Grand Rapids Parks at either 616-288-7209 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction kicks off this Thursday, August 27 so the ask is time sensitive. Please note that all volunteers will receive a face mask and
workstations will be appropriately located and socially distanced for safety during construction.
Uptown consists of four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. In all climates, Uptown celebrates its
mission: to bring together people, partnerships, and possibilities to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning,
coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond.
For more information about this and all things Uptown, please contact Ingrid Miller.
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