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Westside Connection: A Blend of History, Nature, and Community

Situated as the westernmost neighborhood of Grand Rapids, the Westside Connection, often referred to as the Upper Westside, is a vibrant community teeming with history, outdoor activities, and local gems.

Nature’s Bounty in the Heart of the City

Sullivan Field, established in 1937 as Valley Field, stands as a testament to the neighborhood’s rich history. Once improved by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it has since been a hub for local baseball clubs, including the renowned American Seating Company team, the Seaters. Renamed in 1996 in honor of Bob Sullivan, a local baseball sponsor and entrepreneur, the field now boasts a baseball diamond, grandstand, and restroom facilities.

For dog lovers, Covell Dog Park offers a space for furry friends to play and socialize. Meanwhile, the Blandford Nature Center, spanning 246 acres, provides an immersive experience in nature. With parts of the former Highlands Golf Club now included, the center focuses on experiential learning, wildlife rehabilitation, and community engagement.

Westside Connection’s Culinary and Retail Delights

For those with a sweet tooth, Sandy’s Donuts promises a delightful experience with its array of donuts, cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls. Siciliano’s Market, on the other hand, is a haven for enthusiasts of spirits, beer, wine, and even home brewing.

For a hearty meal in a cozy setting, The Walker Roadhouse on Remembrance Road offers a diverse menu catering to varied tastes, including gluten-friendly options. And if you’re in the mood for a classic American tavern experience, Westside Social stands as a testament to the community’s rich history and growing neighborhoods.

Education and Excellence in Westside Connection

The neighborhood is home to several esteemed educational institutions. C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy, an application school under Grand Rapids Public School, offers a unique curriculum focusing on environmental sciences. With hands-on activities like gardening, rock studies, and wildlife observation, students gain practical experience complementing their classroom learning.

West Catholic High School stands out as one of the top Catholic high schools in the U.S. With its strong emphasis on academic excellence, the school offers 19 Advanced Placement courses on campus and many dual-enrollment credits through a partnership with Aquinas College. With over 60% of students earning college credit even before graduation and a strong athletic program, West Catholic High School is a beacon of holistic education.

With its blend of history, nature, and community spirit, the Westside Connection truly embodies the essence of Grand Rapids, making it a must-visit for both residents and visitors.

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