ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Plans are in the works to create a new playground for children in the Rockford area.
Resident Gwyn Brectel, who lives in the Alpine Ridge neighborhood, said, “There is no neighborhood playground, anymore. It’s sad the kids have nowhere to go.”
That will soon change, The site of the former Thompson Elementary School is owned by the Rockford Park District, and will soon be transformed into a playground.
“I would like to see a modernized playground for the kids in the neighborhood, because there really isn’t a close one nearby anymore, now the school is gone,” said Brectel.
She has two granddaughters, ages 7 and 4, and says they miss having a neighborhood playground.
Allen Geeser says he hopes the new park will include a walking path for residents of all ages.
“I’d like to see it as a place neighbors can walk up and enjoy and be an extension of the walking path that runs along Charles Street, and a place where people can gather for picnics as well,” he said.
Alpine Lutheran Church and Alpine Academy hosted a neighborhood picnic on Saturday so residents of the Alpine Ridge neighborhood could share what they wanted to see in the future park.
“We had some neighbors that came together to say, ‘let’s get a small committee together to build some suggestions, meet with our neighbors, gather together and ask for suggestions,'” said Alpine Academy director Scott Dabson.
Residents who attended the picnic said they were excited for the outcome.
“I think it’s great, that the way the whole neighborhood will have input and the can decide what’s the most important to the people who are here to use it,” Brectel said.
“It would be great to have something done and at the end, we can all be proud that we helped design and format, and have our dream and vision come true,” said Geeser.