Community Photo Session Update

Dennis Grantz (Photographer from WMCAT) and a resident chatting together!

Dennis Grantz (Photographer from WMCAT) and a resident chatting together!

The Community Photo Session was held on May 6, 2017. Many community members came to West Grand Neighborhood Organization to get their picture taken by Dennis Grantz from WMCAT and one of our staff members.

Residents who were there also got to meet the mural artist, George Eberhardt and see the plan for the mural.

One of our young residents performing a native american hoop dance.

One of our young residents performing a native american hoop dance.


We had a great time meeting people and were treated to a Native American hoop dance by one of our talented young residents! It was inspiring!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be a part of the mural!

Steve VanHolstyn from Over The Horizon Aerial Imaging also stopped by for the session and to have a little fun! Steve told us he plans on documenting the work on the mural and has been kind enough to share some of his photo's with us! Thank you Steve!

Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers Needed!

West Grand Neighborhood Organization has multiple events and activities that we need volunteers for.

If you would like to participate in any of the multiple events or activities go to the following link and take the questionnaire about volunteer opportunities with WGNO:

Currently there are over 8 volunteer opportunities to choose from!

Make sure to click "Subscribe" to our events on Facebook to get notified of new events in our area! Please share or send the link for the form to family and friends you think would be interested in volunteering as well! Thank you for your time!

Update: Potential Zoning Changes

This morning The City of Grand Rapids issued a Media Release:

Neighborhood input results in Zoning Map change

After meeting with Westside residents and business leaders, First Ward Commissioners and City officials are responding by crafting modifications to a proposed Zoning Map they believe better align with neighborhood interests. The proposed changes support two important goals of the community: providing a better transition between downtown and the neighborhood, and facilitating development of affordable housing. The proposed Zoning Ordinance text and map amendments are available at the City’s website at

Look below for a higher resolution image of the updated map.

Please check out the Press Release and let us know what you think!

The updated map:

The revised map for downtown Grand Rapids addresses resident concerns by reducing height limits on the near west side from 10 stories to seven stories by right in a new zone district. It divides the Downtown Height (DH) overlay district into two zones. The DH-2 (a) zone allows buildings up to 10 stories in height by right, with an additional six bonus stories. The DH-2 (b) zone allows buildings up to seven stories in height by right, with an additional five bonus stories, which can only be fully attained by providing affordable housing.
— - City of Grand Rapids 3/24/2017 Media Release

City of GR - Winter Preparedness Brief

The City of Grand Rapids is already gearing up for winter with a six-page Winter Preparedness guide, prepared by the City’s 311 Customer Service Center. The Winter Preparedness Brief is designed at helping residents prepare for the coming winter season that will be here before we know it. The Winter Preparedness Brief provides readers with tips and rules on how to survive and thrive during the winter months as a resident of Michigan’s second largest city. See the 6 page guide by clicking the links below.


Click for the English Version

Click for the Spanish Version

Sponsor a Family for Christmas



It's that time of year again!


The 2nd Annual Giving Tree Sponsorship


Now until December 14


Adopt a family for Christmas!


You can check out the event on Facebook for updates and more information!

If you would like to donate or sponsor a family or individual:

To help with this effort, stop by our office at 415 Leonard St. NW (parking behind Brann's) or go to: (Make sure to note during the process that the donation is for "The Giving Tree"

For questions or additional information about sponsoring a family or an individual, please contact: or call 616-451-0150

2016 West Grand Neighborhood Improvement Grant


Mission: To improve the West Grand Neighborhood by selecting and funding resident improvement projects. 

About: West Grand Neighborhood Organization has partnered with The Mitten Brewing Company to empower West Grand residents to make the changes they wish to see in their neighborhood.

 Grants: The inaugural endowment of $1,250 is to be split and awarded as five $250 grants. The Mitten Brewing Company has endowed these grants with funds from its inaugural “Barrel Grant.”

 How to apply: Applications may be picked up from the WGNO office (415 Leonard St NW) in person or downloaded from the website ( starting March 1, 2016 and are due no later than March 21, 2016 by noon. Applications may be turned in to the WGNO office or emailed to

Additionally, The Mitten Brewing Company will host a reception on Monday, March 21, 2016 where applicants are invited to attend, present their ideas in person; in addition, meet board members and other residents. A podium and microphone will be present in the upstairs taproom from 6-8 pm. All ages are welcome to attend the reception.

Limits: These grants are limited to residents who reside in the boundaries of the West Grand Neighborhood Organization. Eastern boundary- The Grand River, Southern boundary- Bridge St, Western Boundary- Bristol to Walker to Valley, and the Northern Boundary is the city limits.

 Awards: The grants will be awarded to the 5 selected applicants on Monday, March 28, 2016.

 West Grand Neighborhood Organization (WGNO) is the second-largest neighborhood organization in Grand Rapids. Its boundaries include the Grand River to the east, Bridge Street to the south, Bristol Street to the southwest, and the city limits to the north. We are a non-profit organization.

 WGNO has a great mix of residents and businesses and is home to two neighborhood business districts within its boundaries -- West Leonard and Stockbridge. It is our goal to produce such programs that enable our residents and businesses to coexist in an environment that produces a healthy and vital neighborhood for all.

 Neighborhoods are structured to maintain both rental properties and owner-occupied homes. Each neighbor is offered the tools to keep their neighborhood just and as they see it. Seniors offer stability, homeowners offer vested interest, and rental properties offer investment opportunity. Businesses offer trade and financial support to our neighborhood. All healthy neighborhoods need each of these elements to survive.

 The needs of our neighborhood are most effectively addressed when we speak with a voice of solidarity. Our purpose at WGNO is to offer all residents and businesses the opportunity to participate in formulating that voice through a well-designed web of targeted programs and integrated communication.


To print and fill out the application click the following link:

2016 West Grand Neighborhood Improvement Grant Packet

You can also get updates and information on the Facebook event page here:

News Release from the WGNO Board

Hello Neighbors,

Please join us, as we celebrate the promotion of our Community Engagement Specialist, Annette Vandenberg to Executive Director. Annette comes to our neighborhood with vast experience and skills working with and for people in the various community settings over the last 25 years.

Annette is a first generation college graduate, who served in the United States Navy for seven years as a Hospital Corpsman while stationed mostly at Camp Pendleton, California. She recently obtained her Masters of Social Work from the University of Southern California, earning her undergrad at Cornerstone University. Prior to this Annette has volunteered and interned at area non-profits and other community organizations. Annette believes that as a neighborhood organization, “We are to amplify the voice of residents and empower them for positive change”. She understands the rich history of West Grand and the West Side and looks forward to continue the positive work of the former directors and staff.

Annette has lived in Grand Rapids since 2009 with her family. She is encouraged to see the positive things happing on the Westside. She is looking forward to working alongside residents, businesses, other non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, the city and the county to strengthen the neighborhood she is serving.

Stop in and say Hi Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm!

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Board of West Grand Neighborhood Organizatio