A group of non-profit organizations working together to see a diverse WestSide community marked by equity, inclusion, and hope.
Why we love the WestSide
The WestSide is a vibrant urban neighborhood immediately west of the Grand Rapids’ downtown core. More specifically, the ‘lower’ WestSide is bounded roughly by Richmond Street on the north, Butterworth Street on the south, and the natural features of the Grand River on the east and a hill parallel to Valley Street on the west.
The WestSide has cultivated a rich identity as a melting pot of culture from the original Odawa Indians who lived along the west bank of the Grand River to the early German, Polish, Dutch, and Lithuanian settlers who developed the area into the 20th Century. Holding true to its diverse history, the WestSide is Grand Rapids’ most diverse urban neighborhood, home to a vibrant mix of African American, Hispanic, Native Americans, and second and third generation European settlers.
Things to do
The WestSide is encompasses three business districts each offering its own unique walkable “small-town” feel with variety of authentic restaurants, grocers, coffee shops, breweries, a distillery, new and used clothing stores, antique shops, and much more. The WestSide is also home to over 250 acres of parks and green space sporting amenities ranging from pools and splash-pads to a skate park and John Ball Zoo.
The WestSide is also the gateway to one of the largest urban parks in the country, Millennium Park. With 1,400 acres of rolling terrain and six miles of frontage on the Grand River, the facilities include a six-acre beach and splash-pad, boat rental facilities, endless miles of paved bike trails, and other diverse opportunities for recreation and relaxation. In addition, bordered by the Grand River to the east, the WestSide’s Fish Ladder Park offers some of the best salmon and steelhead fishing in West Michigan!
For people of all ages and backgrounds, the WestSide isn’t just a neighborhood, it’s a community!
Where the Collaborative fits in
Who We Are
The WestSide Collaboration is 25 local nonprofits passionate about our WestSide community.
The WestSide Collaborative seeks to address the marginalization of the WestSide Neighborhood residents due to the concentration of power held by entities and individuals other than the residents themselves.
To engage and empower residents and organizations to act on self-determined community issues.
We envision a WestSide Community marked by Equity, Inclusion, and Hope.