A new, high-tech, public restroom is coming to a Grand Rapids City Park.

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Self-Cleaning Toilet Coming to Heartside Park

The City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department shared that a new all-season, self-cleaning bathroom arrived at Heartside Park this week.

City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
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Heartside Park is close to downtown Grand Rapids at 301 Ionia Ave SW. Heartside Park also features a basketball court, picnic shelter, playground, and splash pad.

The new accessible facility will be connected and opened this spring.

City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
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According to M-Live, in addition to detecting humans and cleaning itself, the bathroom talks too! Once a person enters the restroom ad locks the door, a voice message will notify the person that they have 15 minutes to use the restroom, after that, the door unlocks.

The restroom comes from a New Zeeland based company called Exeloo.

As for how the self-cleaning function works, MLive reports,

The autowash system sanitizes the toilet and floor with sprayer jets at certain times of the day, according to the company. During that cleaning period, the door is automatically locked to prevent entry and detection systems ensure people aren’t still within the toilet cubicle. The cleaning spray empties into a floor drain.

Artwork on Heartside Parks New Restroom Facility

The mural wrapping the building, named "Connections to Nature," was created by local indigenous artist Jamie Shackleton.

City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, Facebook
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The mural depicts The Grand River, or 'Owashtanong,' running through four bright circles and four river animals.

Johnson, Sawyer via City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation/ Facebook
Johnson, Sawyer via City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation/ Facebook
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Here is what Jamie says about her piece,

The process included traditionally illustrating each animal and then transferring it to digital illustration. Once digitized, the process included a lot of logistics to work with the building dimensions. I often printed the illustration horizontally and folded it into a model with four walls to get each part to lay in the intended composition to be pleasingly viewed from each side.
The animals included were creatures that were great medicine for me to see daily while I was in the Grand Rapids Public Museum garden while participating in ArtPrize 2021. I watched the local family of young ospreys learning to fish in the river. I love the Sturgeon and visited the ones in the museum aquarium often. I even researched them and learned that they are a matriarchal species where the females live 100 years or more.
The great blue heron lived in the middle of the river on the tiny island, and the painted turtles hung out on rocks on the Grand River's edge. It was a wonderful ritual to sit with the river, bless her every morning, and say hello to all her creatures.

 

Outdoor Games, Gear, and Equipment You Can Rent for FREE From Grand Rapids Gear Library

Grand Rapid Parks and Recreation recently added skateboards to the Thrive Outside Gear Library. Did you know about all the cool stuff you can rent for free? Just about anything you'd need for a camping trip you'll find in the Gear Library at Roosevelt Park Gym, plus team sports equipment, clothing, picnic supplies, even gear for cold weather activities too! The Gear Library is located at the gym at Roosevelt Park at 739 Van Raalte Dr. SW in Grand Rapids. The library is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.