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South East Community Association: A Blend of History, Culture, and Community

Nestled southeast of the vibrant downtown Grand Rapids, the South East Community Association (SECA) stands as a testament to diversity and community spirit. Home to over 5,000 residents, this expansive neighborhood boasts a rich tapestry of cultures and experiences, making it a unique and integral part of the Grand Rapids landscape.

A Hub for Knowledge and Community Engagement

The Madison Square Branch, an extension of the Grand Rapids Public Library, is a cornerstone of the SECA neighborhood. While it’s a haven for book lovers, the library offers much more than just books. Throughout the year, it hosts a plethora of programs and events catering to all age groups. From children’s activities to adult workshops, there’s always something happening, making it a vibrant community hub.

Exploring the Outdoors and Historical Landmarks

A stone’s throw away from SECA, Pleasant Park offers residents a serene escape with its playground and quaint sledding hill. Meanwhile, Dickinson Park, though compact, provides ample space for basketball, picnicking, and playground fun.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the neighborhood’s proximity to two significant cemeteries. St Andrew’s Cemetery, established in 1852, is the first permanent Catholic cemetery in Grand Rapids and is the resting place of Louis Campau, one of the city’s founders. Oak Hill Cemetery, founded a year later, is a testament to the city’s Jewish heritage, with notable figures like Julius Houseman  is buried there.

Culinary Delights of SECA

For those with a penchant for Caribbean flavors, Jamaican Dave’s Restaurant promises a culinary journey with its jerk chicken, vegetarian dishes, and authentic Jamaican sodas. The vibrant interiors and friendly staff further enhance the dining experience.

Barbecue aficionados shouldn’t miss out on Backyard BBQ. With rave reviews on Google, this eatery offers mouth-watering ribs, baked beans, chicken sandwiches, yams, and more, ensuring a hearty meal for all.

For coffee lovers, Rising Grinds Cafe stands out not just for its brews but also for its origins and mission. Initially founded as a training center for young adults, it has since evolved into a community-centric cafe. Located at the intersection of Madison and Hall, the cafe is committed to workforce development, community employment, and empowering BIPOC entrepreneurs.

In Conclusion

The South East Community Association is more than just a neighborhood; it’s a melting pot of cultures, histories, and experiences. Whether you’re exploring its historical landmarks, savoring its diverse culinary offerings, or engaging in community events, SECA promises a rich and fulfilling experience for all.


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