Bring the Green ushers in the new season
Spring is slowly sneaking up on Michigan, so a group of Grand Valley State University students wanted to help Grand Rapids jump into spring this weekend.
On Saturday in Heartside Park in downtown Grand Rapids, a group of honors college students hosted Bring the Green, an event they created to promote sustainability, wellness, and community involvement.
The students, who are all part of the honors class Designing Social Ventures, came up with the idea for the event on their own. The class split up into different committees and together organized, planned and marketed Bring the Green to Grand Rapids citizens and GVSU students.
Designing Social Ventures is instructed by Bill Holsinger-Robinson, who described the course as a class to drive more conversation about entrepreneurship and innovation.
“I think a lot of people get frozen when thinking about ‘How can I create impact, I’m really busy, I’m a student, I have tons of classes….’ You can do things with very little time, fairly limited resources,” Holsinger-Robinson said. “(The class) has been really great, it has been completely student decided, they came up with the inspiration, and they ran with everything else.”
Lydia Danikolas, a student on the marketing committee, said she enjoyed the class.
“There are a lot of (students in) different disciplines, which is really cool,” Danikolas said. “There’s really no plan for the class, you make it what you want to make it.”
The students worked with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, a community-driven nonprofit, because the organization was trying to kickstart community involvement in the park.
“(Bring the Green) is all about going outside and having fun, helping people to get over the winter, but at the same time promote sustainability,” Danikolas said.
Before the event, the students and volunteers did a two-and-a-half-hour park clean-up, and they did another clean-up after.
During the event, attendees were able to participate in many different opportunities, including fire truck tours from the Grand Rapids Fire Department, a kid-friendly game of Quidditch, Ultimate Frisbee, Capture the Flag, activities by the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and exercise classes offered by Grand Valley Campus Recreation, Renewal Body Bootcamp and Live Dance Move.
More than 80 volunteers helped out with the event, most of them coming from club sports teams.
“There was a good mix of volunteers and non-volunteers here,” said Brad Mueller, the volunteer coordinator for the class. “There was a good turnout while it happened.”