The Gerald R. Ford Airport Viewing Park received a facelift in 2017. Construction scope included a new viewing pavilion, added parking, and sitework. The pavilion features metal panels and cedar soffit, and it doubles the capacity for visitors with added picnic tables, benches, and new permanent restrooms. Parking spaces also nearly doubled from 57 previous spaces to 102 in the renovated lot. Additionally, there are four new bus parking spaces to accommodate school and tour groups.
The Airport Viewing Park opened at its current location at 4820 Kraft Avenue SE, just north of 52nd Street, in 1995. Over the years it has become a popular spot for area workers to take a lunch break, or for families to pack a picnic and enjoy a free afternoon spotting planes. In fact, it was voted the “Best Kept Secret in Grand Rapids” in Grand Rapids Kids Magazine’s July 2015 issue.
This project is the initiative of the Cascade Community Foundation’s ‘Community is Our Middle Name’ campaign, in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Airport Authority.