Located just north of interstate 196, the Highland Park neighborhood is packed full of homes and provides a welcoming community. Over 3,000 people call this neighborhood home and the community continues to grow in a positive direction. Established in the 1990’s, the Highland Park neighborhood association strives to provide a safe and welcoming neighborhood to those who live there and those who come just to visit. Creating a safe neighborhood has been made possible by establishing a crime watch program and through coming together as a community.
Although the neighborhood and Highland Park share a name, the 30-acre park has a history of its own. Established in 1873 by Alpinus and Melvill Bissell and Benjamin Harland, the park started as a small 3.5-acre area. Over the years, the park has grown into what you see today with additions like a swimming pool, baseball diamond, and soccer field. There is an additional park in the neighborhood that is in the process of being constructed that will cover just over an acre and a half. Once Eastern Park is completed, there will be a basketball court and paved biking or walking trails.
The first people to start establishing the neighborhood were of Polish decent and established the St. Isidore Churchin 1897. Over the years, the neighborhood has become more diverse from its Polish roots and people of all nationalities reside in Highland Park.
Bordering the Highland Park neighborhood to the west is the Belknap Lookout neighborhood where you can find amazing views of the city. On a clear day, you can stop by Lookout Park to see breathtaking views of the city of Grand Rapids and the Grand River. Many people use this location as a venue to watch the fireworks that are set off each year on the Fourth of July. You can also stop by Belknap Park for more outdoor enjoyment and amenities. This 24-acre park features a sledding hill, perfect for getting outdoors during the winter months.
Located to the north of the neighborhood, Kent County Club is a members only golfers retreat. This club has 18-holes of golf, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and fitness center. In addition to a number of great amenities, they offer a restaurant with delicious food options and provide members with the opportunity to host events like weddings at their facility.
Also located to the north of the Highland Park neighborhood is the Wellspring Preparatory High School. This school is highly ranked in academics and parents with students that attend the school also highly recommend sending children there. With a challenging academic curriculum, this school also strives to teach students core values and how to build relationships for their future endeavors.
Just south of the neighborhood across interstate 196, there are a number of great restaurants to dine at. Grand Coney is a 24-hour restaurant that serves American-style cuisine. They offer breakfast, comfort food, and a variety of hot dogs with unique flavors. Just down the street, the Omelette Shoppe has a delicious variety of breakfast foods to tingle your taste buds. Make sure to take one of their homemade cinnamon rolls home for breakfast tomorrow!