Discover Millennium Park on May 21st!

Millennium Park has been called the “Crown Jewel” of our parks system, yet there is still much to discover! This large urban park covers almost 1500 acres – nearly twice the size of Central Park in New York City! Visitors can experience unique wetlands, fishing ponds, a beach, splash pad, and a myriad of accessible trails right off of the main entrance to the park. Boat and kayak rentals are fun for the family as well as the playgrounds and picnic shelters.


What many people don’t not know is that there is another side to Millennium Park, one that is a little slower paced and allows visitors a chance to see wildlife and enjoy a little peace and quiet. The Hansen Nature Trail is just over a half-mile long, but it connects to more than 20 miles of the Fred Meijer Millennium Trail Network within the park as well as the Kent Trails system and a Grand Rapids City Trail along Wealthy St. SE.


On May 21st    Kent County Parks Department and the Master Naturalist program through MSU Extension are teaming up for “Discover Millennium Park!” This experiential family event for kids of ALL ages runs from 10 am to 3 pm. It includes a “discovery” trail walk, to learn about a variety of nature-related topic, such as:


• The birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that make their home along the Hansen Nature Trail.

• The variety of native and non-native trees, plants and wildflowers around the park.

• The unique ponds, and why they were created.

• The history of the area.

• Kids get a trail guide, stamped at each station, and entered into a drawing for a free “Discover! Millennium Park” t-shirt!


The event is at Millennium Park, on the Hansen Nature Trail, NOT by the beach. There are multiple ways to get to the event! Get here by:


BUS! Take The Rapid bus 12, 18, or 50 to John Ball Zoo, get off at Fulton and Lane or Garfield ( Walk a block or so to John Ball Zoo's south parking lot. Catch the FREE TROLLEY to Hansen Nature Trail and back. Be there between 9:45 am and 1:45 pm--the trolley will cycle back and forth until 3 pm. Many thanks to our anonymous donor!


BIKE! Ride the Fred Meijer Millennium or Kent Trail to the event.


CAR! Park on mowed grass at Butterworth St SW and Riverbend Dr SW, Grand Rapids MI 49534, or alongside Riverbend Dr.


WALK! Park in Millennium Park's big parking lot by the beach. If you park at the far end of the lot by the boathouse, walk West about 2/3 mile (1 km). If you park by the playgrounds and picnic shelters, the event will be a full mile away.


Thank you to Kent County Parks, Kent County Parks Foundation, Kent Garden Club, Dean Transpiration, Michigan DNR, and Tri-Beta for making Discover! Millennium Park happen this year.


Make sure to follow Discover Millennium Park on Facebook (insert hyperlink on the word facebook (


For any further questions please call Kent County Parks foundation at

616-632-7842. or email Kate Meyer at

Posted on April 25, 2016 .