PEORIA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On June 1st there will be an official groundbreaking for Peoria GreenSplash, a new splash park and educational play area. The park was made possible through a Building Better Communities grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The City of Peoria applied for and received the grant in 2017.
The $150,000 grant will be used to build the splash park feature within Harrison Park. The project is a collaboration between the American Water Charitable Foundation, NRPA, the City of Peoria, Illinois American Water and Peoria Housing Authority. The groundbreaking will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 1, at the northwest corner of the intersection of S. Griswold Street and S. Friedan Street in Peoria.
“Grant programs from organizations like the American Water Charitable Foundation help us stretch our limited resources and improve quality of life for our citizens,” said Scott Reeise, Peoria Public Works Director. He continued, “We’re very grateful for this opportunity, and we’re looking forward to seeing Peoria residents of all ages play and learn at this new splash park.”
Community parks like Peoria GreenSplash are vital for connecting children to nature. Nature-based play areas foster an appreciation for environmental stewardship, while providing opportunities for physical activity.
In Peoria, community members will benefit by playing in clean water and learning about native plants, the natural water cycle, and environmental stewardship. Peoria GreenSplash will have educational signage on the benefits of native plants and clean water. The new park is scheduled to open this summer.
Illinois American Water’s skilled union employees will contribute to the project by installing water service for the splash park.
Roger Goodson, Senior Manager of Field Operations and Production for Illinois American Water’s Western Division said, “We are blessed with the best of the best when it comes to skilled labor. Our teams are committed to providing excellent water service and contributing to the betterment of the communities where they work and live. We believe every child deserves an opportunity to play and have fun; this splash park helps fulfill that need.”
An opportunity for residents to contribute to the project will also be offered. Peorians will be invited to help plant native flowers at Peoria GreenSplash. This event is expected to be held in July.
The Peoria Area Housing Authority (PHA) is another critical partner for Peoria GreenSplash. The splash park will be constructed on land contributed by PHA at their Harrison Home Redevelopment.
James Fassino, Chair of the PHA Board of Commissioners, said, “It is important that all residents of Peoria have access to educational play areas. Not everyone can afford to travel or attend facilities outside their neighborhood. We’re excited to provide a space for not only our residents, but visitors from all across the community, to enjoy and learn about water. The collaboration to contribute to Peoria, particularly 61605 zip code, is appreciated.”
The Building Better Communities grant program is administered by the NRPA. The program focuses on building or enhancing nature-based playgrounds and play spaces for children and will connect and educate people on environmental stewardship practices related to water and other natural resources.
“NRPA is proud to partner with the American Water Charitable Foundation to help provide this unique play space to the residents of Peoria,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. “This enhanced space will increase opportunities for physical activity and connect children and families to the wonders of nature through their local park.”
The Peoria project is one of 12 NRPA grants awarded to American Water communities.
“We are excited to provide this opportunity for Peoria residents to enjoy, learn about and appreciate the environment in a fun and engaging way,” said Laura Martin, President of the American Water Charitable Foundation. “Peoria GreenSplash will benefit the children and families in this community while encouraging the continued viability and protection of our nation's water resources."
For information about the Building Better Communities program, visit https://amwater.com/corp/customers-and-communities/american-water-charitable-foundation/signature-program.
The American Water Charitable Foundation was established in 2010 with a founding contribution from American Water. The American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen, and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors. More information about the Foundation can be found at amwater.com.
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.
The Peoria Housing Authority (PHA) is committed to providing, affordable housing opportunities for all of the citizens living in an area generally known as “Central Illinois.” In addition, through the development of strong partnerships with current residents and appropriate community agencies, the PHA seeks to develop new programs (housing, social and educational) to enhance the quality of life for its resident, thereby offering numerous opportunities for self-sufficiency. Currently the PHA serves over 6,300 family members throughout our Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Program. The PHA has begun to expand its housing portfolio with modern mixed income developments and continues to search for ways to expand affordable housing throughout our service area. Learn more at www.peoriahousing.org.