Millenium fountain dedicated

Millenium fountain dedicated

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

At the Millennium Fountain dedication attended by local officials June 26, Fleur Wright exuded a warm feeling, recalling frolicking in a fountain as a child.

Wright, co-chair of the Volunteer Recognition Committee that chose the fountain as one of the Rockford 2000 Making Ideas Happen campaign, is excited that adults and children alike can enjoy the new creation. “With this project, Rockford has really left a legacy,” Wright said.

The Millennium Fountain consists of two fountains in Waterside Park on Park District property on Water Street overlooking the river.

These fountains are placed on 50-foot circular bases with three dry-deck geysers that can reach 20 feet. The fountain site has three geysers, and the fountains are connected by a waterfall and a pool. The site is also wheelchair-accessible.

The fountain will spout from morning until after sunset, from spring to late fall. A footpath and bridge, lighting for nighttime, benches and landscaping complement Rockford’s only public fountain.

The grading in the lower fountain still must be corrected, and the committee hopes it will be completed by the Fourth of July. “We have more things to do on the side, but they’re not as critical to the fountains being on,” Wright said.

It is the last in a string of projects and events as a result of the campaign. A contest in the daily newspaper allowed people to spout off a number of ideas, and the fountain was one.

Becky Genoways, CEO of On The Waterfront, and Phyllis Russell, former United Way executive director, submitted the idea for a fountain and a gathering place. They indicated the fountain should be at a downtown River District river site.

The Volunteer Recognition Committee, consisting of Genoways, Russell, Wright, John Crooks, Ruth Miller, Jim Reid, Dan Roszkowski and Bill Sjostrom selected three projects. Besides the fountain, the committee decided to plant 200 trees for the “Reforest the Forest City Project” and allowed youth to create murals to decorate the exterior of the Rockford Public Library.

Genoways noted the fountain was an idea On The Waterfront had already explored. “I submitted it saying that from our perspective, the river is one of our greatest assets so we could take better advantage of it,” she said. “We established criteria for sites and went on a walking tour and discussed different styles of types. I was thrilled when it was selected. It was exhilarating.”

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From page 1

Larson and Darby designed the fountain for free. Other in-kind donations were from Ringland-Johson Construction, the general contractor; Burmac Metal Finishing, Ceroni Piping Company, City of Rockford, Columbia Pipe & Supply, Commonwealth Edison, Cooling Landscape Contractors, Crimson Ridge, Evergreen Irrigation, Lindberg & Associates, Arnold Lundgren & Associates Master Sheet Metal Contractors, Morse Electric, Neenah Foundry, NU Toys, Packard Excavation, Rockford Landscape Inc., Water Street Cafe, Winnebago County and WREX-TV.

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