The Clear Intentions of John Bonnell

Please review the historical documents, the dedication, and especially the deed from 1945. This land was gifted to the public and for the public. The Grand Rapids Township board is bound to these conditions by which this land was gifted but the current arrangement does not provide for this.

In 1914 John Bonnell dedicated John Bonnell Park for the use of the public when he donated it to the Grand Rapids Boulevard Assn. In 1920, this was in turn donated to the City of Grand Rapids and the Michigan Supreme court on Sept 30, 1920 noted, ”

The deed runs to the city… It takes as trustee for the people of Grand Rapids who are really the cestuis que trustent. These parks and boulevards donated to the city of Grand Rapids are for the use and benefit of the public…”

The intent of John Bonnells gift was honored yet again in the transfer of this property to the Grand Rapids Township in 1945:

The deed “… assigns FOREVER John H Bonnell park… lying north and east of Reeds Lake Boulevard and containing approximately 10 acres. (The condition of this deed is that said properties shall be kept and maintained as a public park for the use and benefit of the public … otherwise said property shall revert to the first party [the City of Grand Rapids] ”

We think very little further needs to be said.