Fish Ladder Music Park

Photos from the 2019 and 2023 Dam Jam Music Festivals at Brenke Fish Ladder.

Fish Ladder Music Park construction begins early 2024.

The Community Foundation is working on our next gem on the riverfront: Fish Ladder Music Park.

Located on the bank of the Grand River adjacent to Old Town, Burchard Park and the Brenke Fish Ladder are underdeveloped amenities with tremendous untapped potential. Past events like Dam Jam Music Festival in 2019, 2021, and now in 2023, have further demonstrated the potential to transform the old historical site. Fish Ladder Music Park will use a historic architectural wonder with a water feature to create a unique musical performance venue on the riverfront.

Improvements to the park will create a unique destination venue for both residents and visitors. A stage, theatre-style seating, a plug-and-play sound system, and creative lighting will transform the fish ladder. In addition, amenities will be added to its home of Burchard Park, including an “electric forest,” outdoor fireplace and seating, and improved accessibility for all people regardless of ability.

Architectural plans have been drafted and a fundraising feasibility study has been completed. A state appropriation was secured in 2023 to jump start this project, but a fundraising campaign is underway, and all donations from individuals and businesses will be matched by the Foundation dollar-for-dollar.

For more information or to be involved in this project, contact Laurie Baumer, president & CEO of the Community Foundation, at (517) 281-9054 or