Thanks to some new grants, more than a half million dollars will be spent on the next phase of the renovation of Douglas Park in Rock Island.
Parks and Recreation Director, John Gripp, says the money will pay for a new ball field on the northwest part of the property, and a multi-use field on the east side of the park that will be used for baseball, softball, football, and soccer.
"There's a lot of youth in and around that area that are under-served. This is an opportunity to engage that youth and the refugee population and anyone else interested in these activities. There's a number of studies out there that show the benefit of participating in a team environment - both on the mentor side and also the taking direction side."
One grant for 150,000 dollars comes from the Illinois DNR, and will be matched by private donations and 50,000 dollars worth of labor by the Parks and Recreation Department. The second grant, for 250,000 dollars, will come from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust.
Gripp says renovation of Douglas Park began in 2016, and since then with the help of the private group, Friends of Douglas Park, more than half a million dollars has been spent re-furbishing the large ball field, building a playground with lights, and other work.
He hopes the new projects will be finished by the end of this year or early next year.