With the first day of spring coming up on Saturday, March 20th, many people will be heading to area parks to enjoy the nice weather. Now you will be able to access free Wi-Fi at some of the parks in the Grand Rapids area.

Thanks to a pilot program supported by CARES Act funding, ten of the parks in Grand Rapids now have free public WiFi access. The Network in a Box program is providing year-round outdoor internet access.

The parks were chosen based on heavy event use, community need and existing infrastructure like pavilions and community gyms that necessary devices could easily attach to.

You will now have Wi-Fi access to connect your smartphone, tablet, or computer at the following parks:

  • Ah-Nab-Awen Park (220 Front Ave. NW)
  • Belknap Park (30 Coldbrook St. NE)
  • Briggs Park (350 Knapp St. NE)
  • Fish Ladder Park (606 Front Ave. NW)
  • Garfield Park (2111 Madison Ave. SE)
  • MacKay-Jaycees Park (2531 Kalamazoo Ave. SE)
  • Martin Luther King Park (900 Fuller Ave. SE)
  • Richmond Park (1101 Richmond St. NW)
  • Riverside Park (2001 Monroe Ave. NE)
  • Roosevelt Park (739 Van Raalte Dr. SW)

To connect to the Wi-Fi, users just need to select the network when within range of the equipment. No log-ins are required. The hotspots have a range of about 900 feet and can support between 30 and 50 devices at a time, depending on usage.

The content available through the network will be filtered using the Children’s Internet Protection Act guidelines.

David Marquardt, the city’s parks and recreation director commented that “park visitors can now work, learn and communicate with others while also enjoying the natural beauty of Grand Rapids.”

The program is currently funded through December. At the end of the year, the city will determine whether or not to continue the program based on funds available, usage, and community support.

Here is a map showing the parks with the free WiFi...


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Gallery Credit: Bethany Adams

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