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Take a Trip On or Along the River at the Upper Mississippi River Conference

The Upper Mississippi River Conference, October 18-19, has field trips that will inspire. Conveniently located in the heart of Rock Island, it allows visitors to explore everything RI has to offer, but of special interest,, are the three conference field trips; one on the Augustana education boat the Stewardship, a walking tour of Rock Island and Davenport riverfronts with former Mayor of Rock Island Mark Schwiebert and the Executive Director of Downtown Davenport Partnership, Kyle Carter, who will relate the many projects outlined in the 2004 RiverVision Plan and those that are yet to come , and a bus/walking tour of the Muscatine riverfront with Rebecca Paulsen of the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce. If you haven’t seen it, know that big things are happening or have happened on the Muscatine riverfront.

Nearly twenty years ago, a consensus plan for the Riverfront was adopted by the city; it highlighted site development issues and implementation strategies to improve Riverside Park. One of the objectives was to provide more publicly accessible boating facilities. Another objective included providing pedestrian promenades and other improvements around the marina that would increase user safety and security. It was hoped these improvements would lead to overall economic development potential of the area by creating focal points, destinations, and vital connections between downtown and the riverfront. Many of these have been implemented. They have relocated a public boat launch, installed restrooms and a playground, renovated the Riverside Community Center, and Pearl City Station, and created better connectivity throughout the park.

The recent focus has been on creating an entertainment venue within the park, creating a destination for Mississippi Riverboat Cruises, offering food and beverage options, increasing boat launch amenities, and increasing pedestrian connectivity.

Currently, there is a campaign to raise funds for an amphitheater on the river. These and other plans will be shared with the conference attendees by city managers, parks and rec staff and public works directors. We will travel the riverfront via bus and walk in certain areas that pertain to the information in the lecture.

Sign up at www.riveraction.org/UMRC. And come ready to be inspired.