The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a funding tool that Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) administers to help catalyze public and private investment in Grand Rapids’ urban core.

To maintain a high level of openness and transparency, the full recording of the live-streamed DDA Board meeting on August 10, 2022, is available on YouTube.

The Board met on this agenda and took the following action:

Approved Funding for Downtown Tree Plantings

The Board approved funding to continue plantings and increase the tree canopy Downtown..

In 2015, the GR Forward plan established a goal to increase the Downtown tree canopy from 5% to 10%. Over 1,000 trees have been planted by DGRI and various partners since the goal was established. This funding will support the planting of 55 additional trees this fall, as well as the remediation and repair of dead or dying trees to open up new planting locations. Once these plantings are complete, the overall Downtown tree canopy will be approximately 9%.

Funds were approved not to exceed $65,528 for Stout Creek Landscaping to complete site remediation and tree planting throughout Downtown beginning in October 2022.

Approved Funding for Disability Advocates of Kent County Partnership

The Board approved funds to continue partnership with the Disability Advocates of Kent County (DAKC) to make Downtown more accessible to all.

Since 2019, DGRI has partnered with DAKC to bring expertise and recommendations to various projects, events and infrastructure. These efforts have resulted in more accessible events, pathways, and the creation of a more welcoming Downtown for people of all abilities. All of these efforts align with goals established in the GR Forward plan.

Funds were approved not to exceed $100,000 in FY 2023 to support partnership with DAKC for inclusive design work.