By Erin Kolb
ROCKFORD – Downtown attraction Davis Park, on the river’s edge, is set to receive major improvements soon, and the Department of Community and Economic Development is seeking the public’s input.
The seven-acre park, which opened in 1989, is located in the city’s thirteenth ward. There have been two community planning workshops to date, both in September of 2015.
At the first session, the city’s on-call planning consultants Farr Associates and Conservation Design Forum reviewed the current state of the park and listened to public input about design ideas and what the function of the park should be.
With the second session, the public was presented with conceptual drawings based on the public’s input from the first session.
The project team hopes to improve the park’s visual appeal from downtown in order to attract more “daily users,” such as professionals working downtown, and general visitors to the area. Improved pedestrian access is also in consideration.
The city hopes to use the park and its resources, including the Rock River, to its fullest benefit. The park will feature a mix of park, festival, and concert space. Currently, the park is 100 percent festival space.
Efforts will be made to improve upon existing features such as the riverfront, the marina, the harbor and the festival space.
The project team hopes to emphasize people’s relationship with water, and has illustrated plans to improve visitors’ view of the river from the park.
Also suggested by the community was the use of on-site renewable sources of energy.
The third workshop will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, February 4, at Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main Street in Rockford.