The Grand River Corridor Revitalization Initiative restores both the waterway and the waterfront of Michigan’s longest river as it flows through Kent County and the Grand Rapids community.

The project involves removing 5 aging, low head dams in order to—among other far-reaching social, economic and environmental benefits—put the rapids back in Grand Rapids. This $45 million catalyst project aims to break ground in 2020-21 on a multi-year construction effort. Along the waterfront, the project aspires to transform the east and west riverbanks into a 9-mile multi-use trail and network of public amenities that link the urban core with two major regional assets—the Riverside Park stewarded by the City of Grand Rapids and Millennium Park stewarded by Kent County. The full vision of this generational project—once completed—is to establish 2 miles of whitewater rapids, 9 miles of urban riverfront trail, and a total potential riverfront park system of 1,780 acres.

Project Details

Infrastructure Type Waterfront / Waterway
Status Advocacy & Design
Opening River improvements projected for completion in 2025, with adjacent parks rehab and trail development to follow
Size 1780 acres, 9 miles
Design Team Fishbeck, Encompass Socio-ecological Consulting, River Restoration


Latest News / Grand River Corridor / July 17, 2021

Whitecaps reveal “Grand Rapids Dam Breakers” persona that will bring more awareness to Grand Rapids Whitewater project

West Michigan Whitecaps Manager Brayan Pena answered his phone. The call was from Jim Jarecki, Whitecaps VP & General Manager. Pena listens intently, then smiles. “We’re doing WHAT?” Jarecki was calling to get some Whitecaps players set up for a photo shoot on the banks of the Grand River. They would be dressed in a new uniform; with a new name they would not recognize.