Rock Island welcomes new park

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As part of a weekend celebration, a park in Rock Island has been opened.

A ribbon cutting ceremony held on Saturday, August 31, 2013 celebrated the opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Park which will be used for neighborhood activities and special events.

The park, located across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center includes a pedestrian plaza, a raised stage, an amphitheater, and a playground. Aside from the structures, an open grassy space is available for children as well as a hard surface where kids can enjoy activities like hop scotch, four square, and make sidewalk chalk drawings.

The park’s design was based on suggestions and comments from public meetings, needs for the King Center youth programs, and the community’s need for open space and play areas.

A portion of the park has been dedicated to Terry Brooks who served as the Rock Island City Council as an alderman for 16 years. Brooks said he served the community for so long because he wanted to, and was not expecting this honor.

“I appreciate the fact that people appreciate my efforts and my work but I basically did it because I grew up here,” said Brooks. “I always wanted an opportunity to make this area better.”

Mayor Dennis Pauley, Illinois State Senator Mike Jacobs, and city council members were present for the event.

The park will be a venue for other events throughout the weekend’s Family Fun Days celebration hosted by the Martin Luther King Center.