Schwiebert Riverfront Park, located on the Mississippi Riverfront between 17th and 20th Streets, will open on Saturday, July 3, 2010 with a dedication at 4 p.m. The new park is being named for former mayor, Mark Schwiebert, for his tireless efforts to promote public use of the riverfront.

Grand Opening Activities

Many activities are planned for Grand Opening Day at the park including a formal park dedication ceremony, salute to the military, live music, children's entertainment, concessions, and fireworks.

The park dedication will begin at 4 p.m. with Mayor Dennis Pauley officiating. Special recognition will be given to Mark Schwiebert during a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on the Main Stage. Following the dedication, the park will be open for the first time.

Live music will start at 4:30 p.m. with family fun and patriotic tunes by the Barehanded Wolfchokers Associated Old-Time Dixieland Jazz Band. The Parks Department is also proud to feature live music act Horizon, a seven-piece contemporary music ensemble from the Navy Band Great Lakes, playing from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Main Stage. Horizon appeals to a wide variety of audiences with current Top 40 hits, classic rock hits, Motown, country, funk, and jazz.

Children's entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. A variety of inflatables, including a Bungee Run, Fun House, Laser Tag Maze, Adrenaline Rush, giant 22' slide, Tyrone T-Rex, and bounce houses will be available for a $5 wristband. In addition, Toto the Clown will entertain children with his juggling act from 6 to 6:30 pm, and strolling balloon art and juggling until 9 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Mark Yeager the Magician will perform in the Upper Shelter. Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase.

The grand opening theme is a salute to military, and special activities will take place throughout the event to honor the armed services including a booth with stationery that citizens can write notes of encouragement and thanks to soldiers. An honor guard will be presented along with a presentation of the national anthem during the event. Also, in order to honor that the park was the former site of the Armory, the National Guard will shoot a cannon to commemorate the opening ceremony.

The event will conclude with the Red, White & Boom fireworks display at dusk over the Mississippi River.

The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Admission is free, and free parking is available in the City's parking ramp and parking lots, as well as on the street; Schwiebert Riverfront Park lots will be closed to the public.

Park Rental Information

Schwiebert Riverfront Park is the perfect place for a wedding, special event, or festival. Available for rental will be the Great Lawn, Main Stage, Triangular Lawn, or the entire park. Base hourly rates are available for weekdays or weekends. A basic wedding rental would start as little as $180. Large events are reasonable as well with a large community festival using the entire park starting at $500. Non profit rates are also available for rentals of the entire park for events or festivals. Some of the extra amenities that may be added to rentals include use of alcohol, tents, vendors, electricity, fencing, and live music. Contact the Park Office at 309.732.7275 for rental information. Private and special event rental applications are now being accepted for 2010 and 2011.

Park Amenities

The downtown park offers spectacular views of the Mississippi River, and includes an open-air stage, playground areas, interactive fountain, observation shelter, waterfront promenade, bike trail, and beautifully landscaped grounds.

The eastern-most portion of the park consists of a 32-space parking lot, designed to accommodate every day park users. The parking lot can be accessed from 18th Street and 1st Avenue.

The Main Stage is the most prominent feature of the eastern part of the park. This 50' x 60' or 3,000 square foot performance area can be used for live music and theatre presentations. The stage includes basement storage areas for use by the Parks Department, along with a dock load-in area for performers. The stage has a sound system, with electrical systems in place for outside companies to bring in a professional sound system and lights if needed. A decorative clock featuring the City of Rock Island's logo will be located adjacent to the bike path and entry road, south of the Main Stage.

Immediately to the west of the stage is a patterned concrete flat surface, perfect for dancing. Further west is the Great Lawn, a beautiful grassy area surrounded by a lighted concrete walking path, making it a great place for blankets and lawn chairs while watching stage entertainment. The Great Lawn, Main Stage, corner planters, and maintenance building trace the silhouette of the former Rock Island Armory structure that was demolished to create the park.

North of the Great Lawn is the lower promenade, just three steps down, along the water's edge. This area provides park goers the opportunity to see the river up close, and provides some of the best views of the bridges, Arsenal Island, and our sister cities. During flooding, this area will be closed, as the removable flood wall will be constructed south of this area.

The main entrance to the park is off of 18th Street, in the middle of the park. In this area is the new park sign on the maintenance building, which also houses restroom facilities. The maintenance building will have a green roof with plantings, along with the storage building. To the east of the main path through the park are steps up to the Great Lawn. To the west is an interactive fountain and Triangle Lawn.

The fountain is at ground level with water sprays. During the warm months the fountain will operate and during the summer heat, the fountain will provide relief for park attendees, as they run through the water sprays. Year round park goers can enjoy the colored, patterned concrete.

To the north of the fountain area is an urban beach feature, a unique checkerboard patterned concrete beach that is at a level closer to the river. This area will also be closed during flooding and is designed for future development.

The western part of the park features the Triangle Lawn, two children's playground areas, two public art sculptures, and an observation shelter. Triangle Lawn is surrounded by trees and a lighted concrete walking path. To the northwest of the lawn are the playgrounds.

The park will feature digital playgrounds, the latest in playground equipment and the first installation in the Midwest. These playgrounds use technology to combine the excitement of digital gaming and the outdoor playground to get kids back outside and playing. The new playgrounds do not come with instructions; kids are encouraged to explore the system and discover all of its innovative features on their own or with their friends. The games and display are designed to be intuitive for the user, regardless of age. For example, in one playground feature called Space, teams compete to beat the clock in four dynamic games by hitting the LED flashing game nodes as fast as they can.

Walk up a few steps from the lawn to the north, through limestone boulders, to the observation shelter. This 20' x 30' shelter provides some of the best views of the river, and will be a fabulous location to watch the eagles, pelicans, and other wildlife. The Upper Shelter is equipped with picnic tables. To the northeast of the shelter, embedded in the concrete, is a compass that will assist out-of-town visitors who may not know the Mississippi River runs east to west in the Quad Cities.

Two public art sculptures are located in the western portion of the park. Journey II by Gary Lee Price, is a bronze sculpture of geese donated by the Thoms Family; this sculpture is located north of the playground. A sculpture to honor Lloyd Schoeneman will be placed at the southwest entry to the park; created by Stuart Morris this 22' sculpture is constructed of concrete, COR-TEN steel, and copper, and was created to honor the former Director of Public Art for Quad City Arts.

The western-most portion of the park has a shared-use parking lot. During weekday business hours, the parking lot will be used by Modern Woodmen of America. During weeknights, weekends, and holidays, the lot will be available for public use. The Great River Trail bike path will run along the southern edge of the park.

Honoring Mark Schwiebert

Mark Schwiebert served as mayor of Rock Island for twenty years. During his tenure, Mr. Schwiebert provided vision and leadership for the creation of this new riverfront park. Naming Schwiebert Riverfront Park recognizes Mr. Schwiebert's tireless efforts to guide the City of Rock Island in the decisions of what should be built on the riverfront, what it should look like, who it should serve, and how it will play a critical role in connecting The District to the Mississippi River. Naming this park for Mark Schwiebert is a fitting tribute for the countless hours he spent on this effort.

Background

In 1996, the National Guard vacated the Armory for a new facility, and the City of Rock Island purchased the property in 1997. After much public debate, the City determined the highest and best use of the riverfront site was to demolish the Armory. After an impassioned, eloquent, and compelling presentation in March 2007 by then-Mayor Schwiebert, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency approved release of a covenant on the property that allowed the City to decide whether partial or complete demolition of the Armory was appropriate. IHPA granted this permission on May 10, 2007. Demolition of the Armory started on April 9, 2009.

Flood Protection

The north façade of the Armory was part of the City's flood protection system. Due to the Armory's demolition, the City designed and installed a demountable flood protection wall to replace the existing structure. This new system will only be installed when directed to do so by the Corps of Engineers. It will provide an unencumbered view of the Mississippi River for the majority of the year. One of the features of the park design extends the normal height of the flood wall providing an additional 3' of flood protection without the demountable flood wall.

RiverVision Project

The Cities of Rock Island and Davenport, together with corporate and community groups, completed a bi-state public planning process in 2003 that resulted in the RiverVision Plan being unanimously adopted by both cities in 2004. This bi-state plan, the only one of its kind in the nation, was the basis for the U.S. Conference of Mayors awarding First Place honors to Davenport and Rock Island in the 2007 City Livability Awards, calling RiverVision "a far-reaching and broadly participatory waterfront plan that provides a coordinated framework for channeling development and configuring urban public open space to improve the quality of living in Davenport and Rock Island."

Creating a Riverfront Park

An important element of the RiverVision Plan in Rock Island was development of a public park on the Mississippi Riverfront. This one-fifth of a mile long park is adjacent to downtown. Much of the area was formerly used to support Jumer's Casino Rock Island riverboat gaming operation, which has now relocated to the City's southwest area, at the interchange of IL-92 and I-280.

The City started working with Schreiber /Anderson Associates Inc. to design concepts for the riverfront park in 2004. Sub-contractors for the design include : Stanley Consultants for structural engineering and permitting, Gere~Dismer Architects as architects, KJWW Engineering Consultants as electrical engineer, and WESCO Fountain, Inc. for fountain mechanicals.

The park has several project goals:

  1. Maximize use and flexibility of the green.
  2. Iconic space on river.
  3. Aesthetically pleasing, creative design.
  4. Water access - physical & visual.
  5. Public boat docks.
  6. Retain flood control.
  7. Capture river views.
  8. Meet park programming needs.
  9. Linkage to downtown and The District.
  10. Enhance downtown and riverfront redevelopment opportunity.

After reviewing many options, holding a series of meetings to gain public comment in 2005-06, and refining the plans, then-Mayor Schwiebert and the City Council selected a preferred concept to move forward with design and development in February 2008. Known at that time as the "Armory Silhouette" concept, it included a main stage area and great lawn that mimics the former Armory building's footprint.

Construction of Schwiebert Riverfront Park

This project has been divided into several construction phases. Williams / Valley Construction Management LLC was hired in June 2008 to assist the City in the overall construction management of the park. They handled all the bids and managed all the sub-contractors on the project.

The project is being paid for from the Downtown Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District funds, a source that can only be spent in the downtown area. Bonds have been issued for $11.1 million, plus TIF revenues of $1.25 million totaling $12.35 million. This covered design, engineering architectural, and construction costs of the park ($10.85 million) and a portion of the new sewer interceptor system ($1.5 million). TIF funds will be used to retire the bonds.

Imaginations will soar at the Midwest Kites Fun Fly at the Quarter during River the River, June 20, 2010. Stop by to watch or participate in dual line and quad line kite flying lessons. Celebrate Ride the River's 26th year by joining us on Father's Day, June 20. New this year?a six mile Arsenal Island loop. Cross the river on the Celebration Belle Riverboat or the historic Arsenal Island Bridge. Bring all the kids because Kids Ride Free with a paying adult, sponsored by Trinity Regional Health Systems. Please note: Arsenal Island trails are open for just registered riders of this event. The Ride begins at the Freighthouse, Western and River Drive, Davenport.

Come join the fun with the whole family this Father's Day and carry on this 26 year tradition! Ride 16 miles or 60 miles; you can loop back at several places on the route. You'd be surprised how much you get out of Ride the River! Building memories, enjoying nature, learning Mississippi River history, getting hooked on biking and connecting with the family. With cool drinks, delicious food, a Kids Olympics, Nahant Marsh, Quad Cities Botantical Center and Putnam Museum activities, Ride the River is a great family activity. Register on-line at www.riveraction.org. Adult riders are $12 until June 18th and $15 after June 18th. For more information contact Linda at 563-322-RIDE, or 563-322-7433.


Rock Island, IL - Russell Construction was honored to be a part of a milestone event that took place on the Rock Island Arsenal. This ceremonial event was held to celebrate the completion of the first of three phases for the new First Army headquarters, located on the Rock Island Arsenal, and to commence construction on the building's entrance sign.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m. on May 20, 2010 Lieutenant General Thomas Miller, commanding officer for U.S. First Army, joined Rock Island Arsenal employees, Quad City community members, elected officials and Russell Construction employees to lay the first stones of the new First Army headquarters entrance sign. Currently headquartered at Fort Gillem, Georgia, First Army was ordered to relocate to the Rock Island Arsenal after the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). First Army is expected to be in full operation by summer 2011.

"We're going to blend in, and we're going to be a part of the team," Lt. Gen. Thomas Miller said before touring a 150,000-square-foot building that had previously been home to an accounting and finance unit. First Army is responsible for the training, readiness and mobilization of all National Guard and Army Reserve units across the United States and two U.S. territories. For more information on First Army, please visit their website at www.first.army.mil.

The construction of this project consists of unified team effort between the US Army Corps of Engineers - Louisville District; Pond: Architects, Engineers & Planners; Tetratech, Inc. and Russell Construction. As a Midwest leader in Construction Management, Design/Build and General Contracting services, projects for the Department of Defense at the Rock Island Arsenal since 2005. Other federal government clients include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Iowa Army/Air National Guard's and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. For more information on Russell Construction, please visit their website at www.russellco.com.

Saturday, May 29, 2010
Where: City Cemetery at 1625 Rockingham Road, Davenport, Iowa
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Cost: Free
The event honors ancestors who were German American immigrants to the region over a century ago. The celebration is free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs. Master of Ceremony is Mayor Bill Gluba. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. with bagpipe music by Derek Grant. Guest speaker is former Mayor Mark Schwiebert. The celebration also includes the German and American National Anthem sung by Henry Storjohann and Dale Dammann. Central High School's ROTC will present the Honor Guard. The program will end with an Volley Rifle Salute. Taps will be performed by John Adams of Davenport American Legion Post 26.  The event is sponsored by The American/Shleswig-Hostein Heritage Society; The German American Family Club of Iowa and Illinois; The German American Heritage Center; The German American National Congress (D.A.N.K.) Quad Cities Chapters; The German American Pioneer Society of Scott County, Iowa; and The Schuetzenpark Gilde.

HEALING SERVICE

WHEN: Wednesday JUNE 2, 2010

WHERE: CHRISTIAN CENTER CHURCH

2103 West Third Street

Davenport, IA

Phone: 563-322-2959

TIME: 6:30 p.m.

An evening of ministering to the hurting in our community.

Everyone welcome!

A community comes together to support Family Literacy Program

(Rock Island, IL)  With the recent influx of immigrants, many children and families are struggling to understand the new culture and language.  But thanks to many community partners coming together sharing resources, families from nine different countries speaking six different languages are learning English and nineteen community partners supporting them.

A news event highlighting the first year's success of the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy Program is being held Thursday, May 20th at 11:00 am at the Church of Peace (1114 12th Street in Rock Island) in the Fellowship Hall.   The program began with three families in the fall and at year's end there are now over forty adult students and 25 pre-school children participating.

Attending the news conference will be Rock Island Mayor, Dennis Pauley, Rock Island Schools Superintendent, Mike Oberhaus, the former Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education, Joe Vermeire, as well as representatives from the various community partners who are the backbone of this program.  The teachers and the families involved in the program will also be available for interviews.

The program is from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays at the Church of Peace.  A typical day at the Lights ON for Learning Family Literacy program consists of English as a Second Language tutoring, lunch and activities with their children, parenting and life skills, and computer and library skills training.

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Blood Drive

The 12th Northern district of Ancient Free And Accepted Masons is hosting their annual blood drive.

Date:    05/26/2010 Time:    3:00 to 6:00 PM

Place:   Methodist Church Orion IL. (Turn left off US 150 east of Casey's Store continue to City Park on right, Methodist Church on Left)

Contact: Marvin Whittaker 309-737-9231 / MarvinWhittaker@hotmail.com

WHEN: 5-15-10

TIME: 1-4 p.m.

WHERE: Barnes & Noble at North Park Mall, 320 W. Kimberly Rd., Davenport, IA 52806

WHAT: Louise will be available to sign copies of her Christian Living book, Longing for Wholeness.

When you look in the mirror, who do you see–what do you see? Are you living the desires of your heart? Do you long to awaken with a joy and feel so alive? Longing For Wholeness is a compassionate and conclusive work written in a fresh style. You will stay engaged as Linda Louise fits the bits and pieces of her life together to fill the emptiness that yearns for worth and loving acceptance. In her compelling story, she reveals the dynamics of a life riddled with shame and contempt. Inside this book, Linda shares her experiences to inspire hope and how she found the freedom to express who she believes she was born to be. You will never question the hope that fills the words written here.

For more information, contact Terry Cordingley at 888-361-9473 or terry@tatepublishing.com

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You are invited to: "Put a Smile on a Child"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Augustana College PepsiCo Center
1025 30th Street, Rock Island

Fun children's activities and • Free dinner!

Community agencies with useful information!

Bring your youth group, school group, neighborhood, friends and family.
All activities and food are free!

For more information call:
Churches United, 309/786-6494

Asian Carp are a critical issue to the ecology of native species.  They have migrated from the Mississippi River to the Illinois River and now threaten Lake Michigan.  In the news on Mon, April 26, the state of Michigan's request to shut down major shipping locks in the Chicago area that may allow the fish to migrate into Lake Michigan was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. Asian carp can grow as large as 4 feet long and weigh 100 pounds.   Kelly Baerwaldt of the Army Corps of Engineers will lead a Channel Cat Talk to teach people how to identify the species, explain why they are dangerous to native organisms, and discuss what is being done to prevent their spread.  Register for this June 1 & 3 talk [9-10:45 a.m.] at www.riveraction.org.

Registration for the Explore the River summer education series is online as of today.  Explore the River consists of Channel Cat Talks and Riverine
Walks that are fun and educational for all ages.  Sessions are held from Jun 1 - Aug 28.

Many other new, fun, and informative classes that are taught by professionals and historians will be held rain or shine and require preregistration. 

* Channel Cat Talks aboard the water taxi are from 9-10:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; departing from Moline landing [2501 East River Drive] next to the Celebration Belle. Seating is limited and tours cost $12.

* Riverine Walks meet at various locations from 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday evenings or 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday mornings and cost $5.  They are free for RA members - registration required.

To register or for more information, call (563) 322-2969; or visit www.riveraction.org. River Action Inc., the non-profit group dedicated to fostering the
environmental, economic and cultural vitality of the Mississippi and its riverfront in the Quad Cities

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