Kent County Parks
The Kent County Parks Department enhances the quality of life in Kent County by providing outstanding parks and trails adhering to the highest standards of recreation. The department efficiently achieves this vision by developing vibrant partnerships, sustainable funding, and accessible parks and trails that amply meet the needs of future generations.
Kent County Parks was established in 1924 and is one of the oldest and largest parks departments in the state. The department manages the daily operations and development of the county’s park and trail system and is overseen by the County Administrator’s office which, in turn, reports to the elected Kent County Board of Commissioners. The Board operates the parks department under Michigan Public Act 156 of 1917, Section 123.51 et seq. Kent County Parks has a long history of operating quality parks and trails, placing a high priority on collaborations with outside agencies and organizations.
The Kent County Parks Department manages more than 6,800 acres of land in 42 properties and trails, offering a wide range of recreational opportunities. Family and corporate picnicking, swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, and golf at our four-star golf course are just a few of the activities available in County parks. In addition, the Department operates a campground with 90 campsites and four rental cabins at Wabasis Lake Park.
To meet the goal set by the Board of Commissioners of a 7,500 acre park system, the Parks Department also seeks to strategically acquire and protect green space to meet the recreational needs of future generations, as funding permits. The current emphasis is on expanding existing parks, particularly where population growth is expected to lead to increased demands for recreational opportunities.
- Diversify funding sources - become more self-supporting
- Provide a comprehensive array of park experiences to the county population that meets/exceeds community expectations
- Achieve position as a provider of preferred recreation attractions in the Grand Rapids area
- Maintain and renovate the existing parks and trails to achieve a level of quality consistent with users’ expectations
- Develop programming, facilities and marketing that increase usage and revenue