Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Service-Learning Center hosts ReVision event with new app

Photo courtesy GR Walks’ facebook page

Every year, the Service Learning Center (S-LC) organizes a ReVision event, but this year, they decided to spice it up. These ReVision events are hosted by Community Partnership Coordinators of each residence dorm each year.

They include a walking tour of Grand Rapids, and a visit to a local church or organization that is partnered with the Grand Rapids community, specific to each dorm. This year’s event was unique because it was the first time the S-LC has done a ReVision event with all of the dorms together, and with the intent of launching a new app called “GR Walks”

GR Walks is a phone app that provides free, self-guided walking tours of neighborhoods and attractive, tourist areas of Grand Rapids. Using this app, 23 of the people on this Grand Rapids Riverwalk Tour were led throughout significant historical and geographical features around the Grand River and were able to learn about the relationships between the river and the city.

The students and leaders were fed interesting facts about our beloved city, such as the Native Americans who first lived here and why the “Blue Bridge” is blue.

“At first it was just a primer,” Said event coordinator, Maaike Mudde, “but as one of GVSU’s colors, a staff member at the university suggested that it stay blue.”

In addition to understanding their bearings while wandering downtown, attendees also learn a lot of valuable information about living in Grand Rapids.

Those who went on the Grand Rapids Riverwalk Tour learned how to ride the local public transportation system, The Rapid, independently, better understand the local history of Grand Rapids and, in turn, appreciating the city even more and increasing their sense of connection to it, and of course celebrating the launch of the Downtown Riverwalk Tour and the GR Walks phone app.

What is a downtown tour without food? Of course, this riverwalk tour incorporated the local cuisine as well. With Grand Rapids being known for its micro-breweries and delicious dishes to accompany them, it plays a huge role in the community and bringing people together.

Mudde is not a stranger to organizing events at Calvin. After working on the Orientation Board and the S-LC to help coordinate StreetFest, she understands how to make an event successful. She also organized a luncheon to introduce faculty and staff to the GR Walk app and how to incorporate it in to the Calvin curriculum.

“The purpose of this event was twofold,” said Mudde, “One, to invite students who participate in service-learning into a deeper understanding of the city. Two, to launch the new downtown historical riverwalk tour on the app, GR Walks.”

Keep your eyes open for next year’s ReVision events, and other upcoming events organized by the Service-Learning Center.

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