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Walker, Michigan
City of Walker
Location within Kent County
Location within Kent County
Walker, Michigan is located in Michigan
Walker, Michigan
Walker, Michigan
Location in Michigan
Walker, Michigan is located in the United States
Walker, Michigan
Walker, Michigan
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Michigan
County KentCity commission
Established 1837 (Walker Township)
Incorporated 1962
Government
 • Type City commission
Area
 • Total 25.14 sq mi (65.11 km2)
 • Land 24.58 sq mi (63.66 km2)
 • Water 0.57 sq mi (1.48 km2)
Elevation
745 ft (227 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 23,537
 • Estimate 
(2019)
24,869
 • Density 1,011.84/sq mi (390.68/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
49534, 49544
(Grand Rapids)
Area code(s) 616
FIPS code 26-82960
GNIS feature ID 1615688

Walker is a city in Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 23,537 at the 2010 census.

Walker was originally organized as Walker Township in 1837 and later incorporated as a city in 1962. It is part of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area and is bordered by the city of Grand Rapids on the east.

History

Before incorporating as a city, it was known as Walker Township. The township was organized on December 30, 1837, the second to be organized in Kent County, and initially comprised all of the land in the county north of the Grand River. The earliest settlers of the township were Canadian immigrants. In 1867, a township hall was built. However, the area where the township hall was annexed into Grand Rapids in 1959.

Walker was established as a city in 1962 to prevent further annexation of the area into Grand Rapids. At the time, it was made a city Walker had a population of 11,000.

On May 22, 2012, nearby Kenowa Hills High School briefly obtained notoriety for having its School Principal Katharine Pennington chastise, then suspend, a group of 64 senior students for the act of riding their bikes to school for Senior Prank day. This was followed by an endorsement of the disciplinary action by the School Superintendent Gerald Hopkins.

A 5,000 seat arena called The DeltaPlex currently resides on Turner Avenue and is home to the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.48 square miles (65.99 km2), of which, 24.94 square miles (64.59 km2) of it is land and 0.54 square miles (1.40 km2) is water.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 11,492
1980 15,088 31.3%
1990 17,279 14.5%
2000 21,842 26.4%
2010 23,537 7.8%
2019 (est.) 24,869 5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 23,537 people, 9,684 households, and 5,923 families living in the city. The population density was 943.7 inhabitants per square mile (364.4/km2). There were 10,432 housing units at an average density of 418.3 per square mile (161.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.3% White, 2.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.

There were 9,684 households, of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.05.

The median age in the city was 34.6 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.

Transportation

Highway

  • I-96 along the north side of the city.
  • US 131 passes through the extreme northeastern part of the city
  • M-11 (Wilson Avenue, Remembrance Drive)
  • M-37 (Alpine Avenue)
  • M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive)

Sister city

Economy

  • The corporate headquarters for Meijer are located in the city of Walker.
  • The headquarters for Bissell Homecare, Inc. is located in the city of Walker.
  • A facility of the Grand Rapids Press is in Walker.

Sports

The DeltaPlex Arena is within Walker and is currently home to the Grand Rapids Gold of the NBA G League, which is an affiliate of the Denver Nuggets.

Education

Public schools

School districts serving the City of Walker include Comstock Park Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grandville Public Schools, and Kenowa Hills Public Schools.

Kenowa Hills schools in the Walker city limits include the Kenowa Hills Early Childhood Center/Day Care & Learning Center, (previously Walker Station Elementary School) Kenowa Hills Central Elementary School, (formerly Kenowa Hills Intermediate School) and Zinser Elementary School. The district previously operated Fairview Elementary School in Walker. Kenowa Hills district residents are zoned to Kenowa Hills Middle School and Kenowa Hills High School in Alpine Township.

One Grandville school, Cummings Elementary, is in the city limits.

One National Heritage Academies charter school, Walker Charter Academy, is in the city limits.

Private schools

Covenant Christian High School and Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School are located in Walker.

Public libraries

The Kent District Library Walker Branch is in Walker.

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