ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Forest City is getting another place to hang out along the Rock River. Rockford City Council members approved the addition of floating docks at Davis Park.
City leaders say this could be a venue for future events in Rockford. Officials are looking forward to a future where the riverfront park becomes a destination for tourists and residents alike in the Forest City.
“The City of Rockford owns one park, and that’s Davis Park. And so we want to make that as attractive as possible, as inclusive as possible, bring more entertainment, more activity to that so all citizens can enjoy it,” said Mayor Tom McNamara.
A $250,000 Rebuild Illinois capital grant will pave the way for new floating docks to be installed at Davis Park in downtown Rockford. The grant was officially accepted by city council Monday night.
“Davis Park has been an underutilized asset,” said Board Member Gary Anderson, of the River District Association.
Anderson says although Davis Park hasn’t attracted large crowds to downtown in recent years, it has the potential to be an economic driver for local businesses.
“Davis Park can really be a great riverfront space,” Anderson said. “Certainly, with the Embassy Suites hotel construction and the conference center there, those are all things that could really end up promoting other events there.”
Anderson believes the plan to install docks is the latest step in the right direction.
“It can really be a big draw. And I think you build things up on that and certainly activating Davis Park with some other events provides a great opportunity to dock up and walk out onto the site there,” he added.
Mayor McNamara agrees. He says several different organizations have worked to update the park in recent years by fixing up benches, adding new landscape, and repainting Founder’s Landing.
“It’s just one more added feature that we can have, and one more access point that we can have for that great park,” Mayor McNamara said.
The electric Bird scooters were also approved. They are expected to be available for rent by the end of the year.