Park District announces Centennial Celebration

In January 2004, the Rockford Park District Board approved designating the Sinnissippi Park and riverfront as the official 100th anniversary commemorative projects area of the Rockford Park District. The District will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2009.

Since that time, plans have been developed for a series of phased projects along the Sinnissippi Park riverfront to celebrate the Rockford Park District’s 100th anniversary in 2009. These plans were unveiled at the Feb. 14 board meeting as the Sinnissippi Centennial Celebration Project.

Park District Executive Director Webbs Norman explained during the unveiling of the eight-phase plan: “The Sinnissippi Centennial Project is repairing and rejuvenating the District’s first park, and addresses many of the District’s deferred maintenance projects for repair and replacement. It is consistent with the board’s priorities to maintain existing assets, and develop the riverfront for public use and enjoyment.”

The projects illustrate a rejuvenated, regenerated and energized Sinnissippi Park riverfront, the “front yard” of our community, with a series of phased projects. The eight projects include a Riverfront Conservatory and Gardens, complete Lagoon restoration, landscaped boulevard along North Second Street, updating the Rose Garden, restoring the Boehland Memorial Waterfall and perennial gardens, docking facilities for the Forest City Queen, and improving the concession area near Symbol.

Following the presentation, the Rockford Park District Foundation Board enthusiastically endorsed the Sinnissippi Centennial Project and pledged to raise $4.9 million in private funds for the centerpiece project in Phase One, the Riverfront Conservatory and Gardens.

According to Kent Mallquist, Rockford Park District Foundation Board president: “This is a legacy project that will benefit our community tremendously in the short term, as well as for the generations who follow. Because Sinnissippi Park is well loved and highly used by our residents, and its location is central to the identity and self-image of our community, the Board of Directors of the Rockford Park District Foundation is enthusiastically supporting this Sinnissippi Centennial Project. We are committed to raising $4.9 million for the first phase in private donations, and a public campaign to rejuvenate Sinnissippi Park.”

From the April 5-11, 2006, issue

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