Safe activities around GV during the pandemic


Courtesy / Blandford Nature Center

Elizabeth Schanz, Staff Reporter

Even though life on campus looks different this year, there are many fun things to do at Grand Valley State University and its surrounding community. With campus being situated in Allendale and in close distance of Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, there are many opportunities to take advantage of.

GVSU has issued their top five COVID-19 safe activities for the area. This includes visiting John Ball Zoo, watching the leaves change at various parks, strolling through Grand Rapids public museum, exploring Blandford nature center, and gazing upon the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. There are many outdoor and mask-friendly activities that provide a way to get out in a safe way.

Similar activities can be found on campus. Two popular outdoor locations on campus are the arboretum and the surrounding ravines. People are able to take a variety of paths to take in different sights or relax in nature. 

“Hammocking is a great activity to do on campus especially in the arboretum,” said freshman Ellie Kerber. “You have fresh air and social distance making it a very relaxing place to do homework.” 

Kerber also mentioned her love for going to downtown Grand Rapids and the Grand Haven beach on the weekends, citing that as a deciding factor when choosing to attend GVSU. She said that these locations are perfect for grabbing a meal, watching the sunset or exploring the town. 

With the state’s recent epidemic orders, some of these activities may have to be put on hold for the time being but are still worth a visit in the future. Making your own top five list can be a good way of finding activities to look forward to. 

“I’d be really interested in visiting the zoo and museum next semester because it would be a new experience,” said student Alayna Hope. 

She spoke of her favorite places to go on her list, which included the Pew Campus and the city — both perfect places for pictures. Hope also mentioned the easy accessibility to get there with Laker Line. 

GVSU also has many on-campus events in order to create an exciting and safe community on campus. These events can often be found on LakerLink where students are able to explore various virtual and in-person activities.

Freshman Melisa Deneweth said that she really enjoyed hiking in the ravines with the Recreation and Wellness Club.

“It was nice to meet some older people on campus and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the fall,” Deneweth said. “I also attended the Haunted Arboretum, which was a great way to have a COVID-safe Halloween.”

Even with state orders closing opportunities and being at home during holiday breaks, it does not mean involvement has to stop. Students can continue to interact with clubs virtually, partake in events over Zoom and take time to go outside in nature.