Sinnissippi Park improvements announced

Online Staff Report

For more than 100 years, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. Second St., Rockford, has been the Rockford Park District’s most popular and busiest park.

Sinnissippi Park was the district’s first land purchase in 1909. In May 2013, the Rockford Park District was awarded a $400,000 State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant. The OSLAD grant was needed to help assist the Park District with much-needed improvements to Sinnissippi Park to enhance patron safety and enjoyment.

The grant award will fund 50 percent of the planned improvement costs. The remaining costs will be funded through the Park District’s capital improvement project budget and from private donations made through the Rockford Park District Foundation.

The overall Sinnissippi Park master plan includes improved accessibility, including the replacement of several features at the existing playground; expanded park amenities for the music shell and twin shelter users, including an additional playground, and connection of existing recreational paths to create a loop pathway system. A comprehensive drainage plan will be developed and sustainable design elements will be included where cost effective. The expected project completion date is June 2015.

Park District Executive Director Tim Dimke said: “Sinnissippi Park is home to some of our most popular amenities and programs; this park hosts more than 270,000 patrons annually, making it one of the most heavily-utilized parks. Enhancements such as adding more parking and expanding pathways have already been completed, and users are already enjoying the park improvements. Amenity rentals and events held at Sinnissippi Park include: Festival of Lights, Illinois Snow Sculpting competition, Imagination Station, Sinnissippi Golf Course, and private rentals.”

At its Jan. 27 meeting, the Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners voted to award a contract to Custom Playgrounds in the amount of $94,280 to complete the playground work at Sinnissippi Park.

Custom Playgrounds will complete the following project elements:

Renovate existing 5- to 12-year-old playground.

Construct a new music-themed playground for 2- to 5-year-olds near the existing twin shelters. Music-themed playground will potentially include elements such as outdoor musical instruments, music themed benches, and Xgrass synthetic turf playground surfacing. The music theme was chosen because of the playground being near the Music Shell, where the very popular Music in the Park and Imagination Station entertainment series take place every summer.

Install a 32-foot hexagon picnic shelter north of the maintenance shop.

Install a shade structure near the music shell seating area.

The Board of Commissioners also awarded a contract to Sjostrom & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $95,900 to complete the restroom building work at Sinnissippi Park. The building will be near the Music Shell, and will include a new two-stall Greenflush Technologies restroom. This style of restroom will provide patrons with flush restrooms without the need to install a cost prohibitive service connection to a distant sanitary sewer.

Posted Jan. 27, 2015

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