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More Money for Parks and Recreation Projects in Rock Island This Year

Highland Springs Clubhouse
Photo provided by the Highland Springs & Saukie Golf Courses Facebook page
Highland Springs Clubhouse

The Rock Island Parks and Recreation will be able to work on more projects this year, thanks to more money than usual.

A combination of federal money, grants, and fundraising by "Friends" groups will add up to more than $2.5 million.

John Gripp, Parks and Recreation Director, says in a normal year, their funding is significantly less.

"Our tax budget that we get, is around $2 million, and that's to operate and maintain our parks. This is additional funds that we've been able to acquire, above and beyond that, that helps us take care of capital projects, facility improvements, park development, things of that nature."

Gripp says the biggest project will be the First Tee partnership at the Highland Springs golf course. It includes a new clubhouse, a First Tee classroom, and a new outdoor patio and parking.

'We're going to be putting 300-400 kids through there a year, to be exposed to the First Tee core values, which is focused on turning them into productive youth and adults. And they get to learn a little about golf along the way."

Other projects include lighting at Douglas Park, new pickleball courts at Mel McKay park, and a remodeled Rock Island Fitness and Activity Center. Gripp hopes all of the projects will be finished by the end of the year.