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Tourism professionals and students to clean-up three Grand Rapids parks

  • On March 27, from 9 a.m.-noon, more than 50 professionals and students will clean up Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Fish Ladder Park, and Riverside Park.

Posted on March 26, 2018

Tourism industry professionals who are attending the 2018 Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids this week will join students from Grand Valley State University to clean-up three area parks on March 27.

The effort is a part of Michigan Cares for Tourism (MC4T), an organization chartered by Grand Valley's Hospitality and Tourism Management Department along with the Michigan DNR, Travel Michigan, Tourism Cares, DRIVEN, and Indian Trails. 

On March 27, from 9 a.m.-noon, more than 50 professionals and students will clean up Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Fish Ladder Park, and Riverside Park. 

The volunteers will remove sand piles from the recent river flooding, remove brush and debris from the parks and flower beds, and sand and paint picnic tables and benches. In addition, they will be clearing the riverfront to improve the bike path view.

"More than 40 tourism industry members have volunteered to share their time and talents for this event," said Patty Janes, MC4T volunteer coordinator and professor of hospitality and tourism management at Grand Valley. "These volunteers are from around the state, all excited to volunteer and give back locally during their visit for the annual conference."

Janes said 60 Grand Valley students have coordinated an event on April 4 to return and continue to clean-up the started projects. In addition, from May 6-12, during National Tourism Week, MC4T and Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation will hold an Adopt-A-Bed event to give local tourism organizations the opportunity to help beautify the city's 74 parks and flower beds.

About Michigan Cares for Tourism

During the past five years, MC4T has sponsored six volunteer clean-up events around the state. More than 1,800 tourism professionals have volunteered their time and talents to renew and refresh some of Michigan’s most treasured attractions including the Ralph A. MacMullen Center and Civilian Conservation Corps Museum in Roscommon, Felt Estate near Saugatuck, Fayette Historic Townsite in the Upper Peninsula, Sturgeon Point Lighthouse near Alpena, Detroit's Belle Isle Park, and the Waterloo Recreation Area's Historic Mill Lake Outdoor Center in Chelsea. 

These volunteer efforts have contributed more than $500,000 in supplies and labor savings to these locations. In addition, MC4T has raised funds and in-kind donations from more than 300 organizations.

Visit for additional information on these initiatives as well as details for the 2018 clean-up event at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, September 16-18, in the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan Cares for Tourism is a 100 percent volunteer, 100 percent give back organization with all proceeds solely designed to contribute to the clean-up of Michigan’s historic attractions.