A recently launched initiative of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB), on Tuesday, Aug. 26, received a $25,000 grant to continue beautifying downtown.
Forest City Beautiful is a new, multi-year initiative aimed at creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes in downtown Rockford. As part of the initiative, RACVB has the responsibility to plan, install and maintain landscaping throughout downtown. The initiative is also made possible through a partnership with Rockford Sharefest, known for its extreme school makeovers of Rockford Public School buildings since 2007. Sharefest volunteers were also instrumental in helping RACVB launch Stroll on State, a new event that welcomed 30,000 people downtown to kickoff the holidays last year.
June 20-28, 2014, more than 700 Sharefest volunteers helped transform over 38,000 square feet of Rockford’s downtown by prepping planting sitesm then installing more than 5,000 perennials, as well as painting 70 light poles along with trash containers, fire hydrants, utility boxes and more.
Rockford Sharefest, a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, is the recipient of and will administrator the grant, in partnership with RACVB.
“We are grateful to have the support of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Their investment will help take this initiative to the next level,” said John Groh, president/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These funds will help enhance our community and will complement other public and private investments happening in downtown in the coming months and years.”
Sharefest Executive Director Creig Day added: “On behalf of the thousands of volunteers who make up Rockford Sharefest, I want to express our gratitude to the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for supporting this project financially. Our community and their willingness to roll up their sleeves and make this a better place to live constantly amaze me. These funds give us a chance to work together to make continued community transformation a reality.”