The City Of Kentwood, MI
Kentwood is a Grand Rapids suburb with a population of 51,693 people. Kentwood is located in Kent County and is considered one of Michigan’s best places to live. Kentwood residents enjoy a dense suburban feel, and the majority of residents own their homes. There are numerous coffee shops, restaurants, and parks in Kentwood. Kentwood is home to many families and young professionals, and residents tend to hold moderate political views. Kentwood’s public schools are above average.
History Of Kentwood Michigan
Kentwood, Michigan (known initially as Paris Township) dates from the first half of the nineteenth century. In Paris Township, Barney Burton was the first to pitch a tent and build a house. The government land in Michigan Territory was available for $1.25 per acre around this time. Its proximity to Grand Rapids, a much larger settlement, made it difficult to achieve full cityhood. For the first 100 years of its existence, it was an unincorporated township.
Kentwood began as a small farming community, but it has become increasingly suburban in recent years, with new housing developments and thriving businesses. Although many of its farms have been replaced by neighborhoods and apartments, it retains some of its small-town charms. Though Kentwood is increasingly looking to the future, historical landmarks such as the Octagon house on Paris Avenue remain.
Arts & Entertainment In Kentwood
One of Michigan’s fastest-growing cities, Grand Rapids (14 min away from Kentwood), offers a diverse range of shopping, dining, lodging, and entertainment options, all of which are conveniently located near downtown Grand Rapids.
More than 80 restaurants, ranging from international fast-food chains to locally owned independent eateries, are available. Within a 20-square-mile area, adventurous eaters can sample ethnic cuisines such as Bosnian, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, Nepalese, Thai, Vietnamese, and more.
The Summer Entertainment Series at the Kentwood branch of the Kent District Library features outdoor movies and concerts.
The Splash Pads at Veteran’s Park and Pinewood Park provide a cool escape from the summer heat.
Kentwood, MI Demographics
- Population: 51,898
- Population Under The Age Of 18: 24.4%
- Population Over The Age Of 65%: 13.4%
- Persons Per Household: 2.52
- Median Home Value: $158,700
- Median Household Income: $54,197
- Average Work Commute: 19.1 min
Public Education In Kentwood
Kentwood Public Schools are the community’s beating heart. Kenwood’s public schools provide before and after-school programs that aid learning for all students. They employ trained personnel to educate Michigan children in a secure and orderly setting. In Kentwood, education is about capturing children’s enthusiasm for learning and inspiring them to believe in the worth of all people. Kentwood Public Schools include:
- East Kentwood Freshman Campus
- Endeavor Elementary School
- Brookwood Elementary School
- Discovery Elementary School
- East Kentwood High School
- Valleywood Middle School
- Glenwood Elementary School
- Explorer Elementary School
- Hamilton Early Childhood Center
- Crestwood Middle School
- Meadowlawn Elementary School
- Pinewood Middle School
- Southwood Elementary School
- Townline Elementary School
- Crossroads Alternative High School
- Challenger Elementary School
- Bowen Elementary School
Kentwood’s Hiking Trails
The city of Kentwood is perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors. Popular hiking trails in Kentwood include:
- East-West Trail
- Plaster Creek Trail
- Paul Henry Rail Trail
- Saddleback Trail
- M6 Trail
Government Structure Of Kentwood, Michigan
Kentwood is governed by a Mayor who also serves as City Manager and a City Commission. Stephen Kepley is the current mayor. The City Commission appoints the Mayor Pro Tempore; Ward 1 Commissioner Robert Coughlin currently holds this position. The mayor is a voting member of the City Commission and also serves as the chairperson of meetings. The mayor does not have the authority to veto a resolution or ordinance.
Kentwood residents elect a mayor, city clerk, and city treasurer for four-year terms, as well as six city commissioners for staggered four-year terms. Every two years, residents in each of the city’s two wards elect one commissioner, and the city at large elects another commissioner.