Manhattan Park Development

As part of its 2019/2020 Community Parks & Recreation Plan, EGR's Parks & Recreation Department has begun working on the enhancement of Manhattan Park. Projects currently include updating its multi-use trails.

If you are interested in learning more about these enhancements and providing feedback, please review the following information. We will update this page with upcoming events and details. 

FRED BUNN MULTIUSE TRAILS PROJECT

Frequently Asked Questions
Construction of Fred Bunn Multiuse Trails at Manhattan Park

What are the rules for using the Fred Bunn Multiuse Trails at Manhattan Park?

Please see our rules here: Fred Bunn Multi-Use Trail Rules

When does construction begin and end?
Construction began Aug. 14.  The project is substantially complete, with finishing touches needed in spring 2024 to finalize some areas, including the bike skills area.  During the Winter of 2023/2024, the completed portions of trails can be utilized when weather conditions allow.  Utilizing a wet or muddy trail can cause damage.  If you are leaving a visible rut or footprints behind the trail is too muddy to use and you should end your use and return on a day when conditions allow.  A snow covered frozen trail is certainly usable!

Are the existing trails accessible during construction?
Existing trails will remain open during construction when they are not being actively worked on. There will be times when portions of existing trails will be closed for construction.   If a trail user encounters construction activity while using the park they are asked to avoid the area and find an alternate pathway to use.

How long will the trails be?
The trails will be a total of approximately 3 miles long, including beginner and intermediate trails along with a skills area optimized for developing mountain biking techniques.

What will the trails be used for once complete?
The Fred Bunn Multiuse Trails will be used for biking, hiking, running and for the high school boys and girls cross country teams’ training needs and meets.

Will I be able to hear the construction equipment offsite?
You may hear the hum of a motor or equipment when work is being done on the area of the trail near Manhattan Road and Reeds Lake Boulevard. 

Will technical mountain biking features be built on the trail? 
Technical mountain biking features will be built only within the designated skills area, not on the beginner and intermediate trails.  This designated skills area will be a closed loop specifically designed for mountain bikers and separate from the beginner and intermediate trails. Hikers, walkers and runners can easily bypass this area.

What materials will be used for construction?
Natural materials such as dirt, stone and clay – known as low-impact design – will be used during construction.

Will trees and vegetation be removed during construction?
The trail corridor will be cleared of vegetation to allow for the tread of the trail to be constructed.  Most trees and native vegetation will be preserved during construction by adjusting the trail routes to save trees which will help preserve roots that support trail stabilization.  Most of the vegetation being removed on this project are invasive plants such as buckthorn. 

Where can I view the conceptual designs of the Fred Bunn Multiuse Trails?
The final conceptual designs can be viewed here.

Where can I find more information about Manhattan Park improvement projects?
You can view updated details on the various projects at Manhattan Park here.

Fred Bunn Multiuse Trail Updates:

August 2023: Construction on the Manhattan Multi-Use Tails is scheduled to begin mid-August, 2023. Construction will take approximately 10 weeks. Segments of the trails and will be closed during construction. 

June 2023: The City Commission authorized a construction agreement with Trail Sense for the implementation of the multi-use trail project.  The construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2023 with a completion of fall 2023. 

August 2022: Based on the public engagement sessions in spring and summer of 2022, the City performed an ecological assessment of the areas within Manhattan Park that have been identified for multi-use trails.  Additionally, the conceptual multi-use trail plan and frequently asked questions pages have been updated to reflect current information.  A copy of the ecological assessment, updated conceptual plan and frequently asked questions document can be found here: Fred Bunn Trails Ecological Assessment and FAQ

On August 31, 2022 a presentation was given and public input was received regarding the Fred Bunn Multi-Use Trails.  A copy of the presentation can be found here: Fred Bunn Multi-Use Trail Presentation.

May 2022: The Fred Bunn Trails at Manhattan Park conceptual designs have been included as part of the Community Open House Forums hosted by the City of East Grand Rapids in April and May.  As a result of the feedback from attendees from the input sessions, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page has been updated.  

February 14, 2022: The City of East Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, February 14,  2022 at 6:00pm in the Commission Chambers of the Community Center, 750 Lakeside Dr. SE, East Grand Rapids, 49506. The purpose of the hearing is to accept public comment on a grant application for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for funds to improve Manhattan Park, including the installation of a splash pad, playground equipment and other park amenities.  

May 18, 2021: At its May 17 meeting, the City Commission reviewed and approved the conceptual plans for the Manhattan Park Multi-Use Trails. The City will continue to collaborate with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance and specific work will be presented to the Commission for further approval. 

April 15, 2021: At its April 12 meeting, the Parks & Recreation Commission reviewed and approved the Manhattan Park Multi-Use Trails proposal. The project will be presented to the City Commission on May 17.

Background

The City is currently working with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance to enhance the trails in Manhattan Park. This project is in the beginning/planning stages and will be presented to the Parks & Recreation Commission at its April 12 meeting. Plans have not been presented to the City Commission. 

At a neighborhood meeting on March 30 at Manhattan Park, members of the WMMBA stated the goal was to create up to 5k of multi-use trails to allow biking, walking, running and even dog walking. The trails were conceptualized during the 2020 Community Parks & Recreation Plan process to enhance the existing uses of the park. Trails would be constructed by a professional trail building company who will ensure proper drainage, adequate width, and the elimination of some of the invasive plant species found in the woods at Manhattan Park. While the City will approve and oversee the construction of the proposed trails, the WMMBA has agreed to raise half of the funds needed and to maintain the trails after construction.

Feedback Opportunity

Parks & Recreation and the WMMBA want to hear from you! Whether or not you were able to attend past meetings, please share your thoughts in writing to Mayor Favale and City Commission at 750 Lakeside Drive SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506 or by email to input@eastgr.org.

Resources 


Manhattan Park Proposed Splash Pad

We have received many inquiries about the splash pad that is proposed for Manhattan Park.  We are still in the concept phase of the project, but we have developed a FAQ page to help address some of the questions we have heard. 

Call the Parks & Recreation Department with any questions regarding Manhattan Park development at 616.949.1750.