The city of Peoria recently received a $150,000 Building Better Communities grant to provide residents with a natural play area called Peoria GreenSplash.
The city received support from several organizations, including grant funding from the American Water Charitable Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), with extra assistance from Illinois American Water.
The project will be located near Harrison Primary School.
Slated to open in summer 2018, Peoria GreenSplash will feature educational signage, landscaping management and routine cleanup with help from the grant program plus local volunteers.
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce praised the park plan, saying it is crucial to provide children with connections with nature to “foster an appreciation for environmental stewardship, while providing opportunities for physical activity.”
Peoria Public Works Director Scott Reeise said that grants help considerably with the municipal budget’s capabilities.
“[W]e saw a great opportunity to create a new, recreational amenity in the 61605 zip code, add more Green Infrastructure in the combined sewer area, and involve our community in the value of clean water,” Reeise said in a press release. “We’re very grateful for this opportunity, and we’re looking forward to planning this project with the neighborhoods, Peoria Public Schools and Peoria Park District.”
Leaders of contributing organizations said the play area will benefit families in the community.
“We believe every child deserves an opportunity to play and have fun; this splash park will help fulfill that need in the 61605 area code,” Illinois American Water President Bruce Hauk said.
American Water Charitable Foundation’s president, Laura Martin, said the project will help protect valuable water resources.
“Peoria GreenSplash will benefit the children and families in this community while encouraging the continued viability and protection of our nation's water resources."