GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Crews installed a living wall at the Amway Grand Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday, adding a pop of color to the street.

The 12-foot-tall wall is filled with hundreds of bright flowers, including coleus ruby slippers and coleus lime time. This is the second year the hotel has had the full installation, explained Ross Bartlett, the regional general manager for Amway Grand Plaza.

A previous year's living wall at Amway Grand Plaza. (Courtesy Amway Grand Plaza)
A previous year’s living wall at Amway Grand Plaza. (Courtesy Amway Grand Plaza)

“We were really excited to bring green space down to an urban environment in the downtown Grand Rapids,” he said. “We find it very unique. As you come over the bridge into downtown, you’re welcomed with this beautiful installation that welcomes you not only into the hotel but the downtown area where there’s green space, there’s lushness.”

Bartlett said people often stop by to take a picture and admire the wall.

“As we continue to build in downtown Grand Rapids, we see more and more brick and mortar going up. It’s important not to sacrifice or disconnect from the urban need of green spaces,” he said.

  • Everett's Landscaping plants the living wall at Amway Grand Plaza on May 30, 2023.
  • Everett's Landscaping plants the living wall at Amway Grand Plaza on May 30, 2023.
  • Flowers ready to be planted in the living wall at Amway Grand Plaza on May 30, 2023.

Anna Droz is an ecologist who works as the strategic educator for Live Wall, the company that manufactured the system and grew the plants. She said the living wall is a “piece of living art” that can improve air quality and sound absorption, especially because it’s so densely planted. It’s also good for pollinators, and sometimes birds will build nests in the walls.

“People really like it,” she said.

The freshly planted living wall at Amway Grand Plaza. (Courtesy Amway Grand Plaza)
The freshly-planted living wall at Amway Grand Plaza. (Courtesy Anna Droz)

The wall includes an irrigation system to keep the flowers watered. The freshly planted flowers will continue to grow, filling in the space.

“Living walls really add a lot to your space,” Droz said. “They’re very unique. People really love them, and if you’re looking to add a whimsical touch while also getting a lot of benefits to your space, a living wall … (is) always a winner.”

The living wall was planted by Everett’s Landscaping. Last year, Everett’s won the Special Feature Award from Association of Grand Rapids Landscape Professionals for its work on the project.