From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE – In hard hats and with shovels in hand, City of Edwardsville officials, Edwardsville Community Foundation and other stakeholders today broke ground on the new $2 million Spray & Play Park located near downtown Edwardsville at the corner of South Main Street and Schwarz Road. Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc. of Highland, is the contractor for the development.
At the ceremony, Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, thanked all in attendance for their continued support of the “A Better Place to Play” campaign, a fundraising initiative launched this year to help make this project and two other parks projects a reality in Edwardsville. “We are continually grateful for the support of the community, both in providing private funding to the projects and in helping us spread the word about our fundraising initiative,” said Patton. “It is really exciting for us to celebrate the start of construction on the Spray & Play Park and to see our efforts pay off with another great place for our area children to play. We look forward to the quality work of Korte & Luitjohan and are ready to watch this project take shape.”
Slated for completion near Memorial Day 2016, plans for the Spray & Play Park include a splash pad and dry playground designed with special ADA standards built into the site. The park will also will include a walking/fitness track, shade structures, pavilions, restrooms/changing rooms as well as native plantings with interpretive signage and a butterfly garden.
A major component in the development of this project will include funding from area corporations and area residents. “Naming rights for the park are still up for grabs as well as other sponsorship opportunities for the different features at the park. We are hopeful that our generous corporate friends step up and help support this project as it starts to take shape. We are also asking the community to give any amount they are able to the campaign. If every family in Edwardsville put $10 towards these projects we would be really close to meeting our goal and would be able to fund all three parks projects,” added Patton.
The other two parks in development include an Ice Rink & Teen Center to be located on District #7 grounds off of Governor’s Parkway and a Sports Park for baseball, softball, soccer, pickleball, tennis and more near the I-55 corridor. Sponsorship and donations are also needed to help fund these parks so construction can begin.
For the Spray & Play Park, three area sponsors have already pledged donations. Edwardsville Rotary Club donated $30,000; First Clover Leaf Bank $10,000 and Junior Service Club of Edwardsville/Glen Carbon donated $40,000. For more information about sponsorship opportunities for the Spray & Play Park visit http://www.betterplacetoplay.com or call Katie Grable at (618) 692-7538.
“We are grateful for the sponsorships we have already received and all of the private donations. Each of the parks projects we have identified for the community would not only fulfill a need for additional recreational space for our area athletes and teams, but they would also have a direct economic benefit on the community by attracting other families to our area who in turn will eat in our restaurants, sleep in our hotels and shop in our many stores,” added Patton.
To make a donation, area residents and potential sponsors are encouraged to donate online at http://www.betterplacetoplay.com or by contacting Edwardsville Community Foundation at http://www.edwardsvillecommunityfoundation.org/. All donations are tax deductible through the foundation.
According to Patty Navin, chairman of the Edwardsville Community Foundation Board of Directors, “There are many ways to make a tax-effective donation to projects like the ‘A Better Place to Play’ campaign. You may simply make a tax-deductible contribution by sending your check to the Edwardsville Community Foundation or you may want to consider a gift of stocks, bonds, real estate, a gift from a trust, or a provision in your will. The best way to determine a tax-effective gift would be to consult with your attorney, accountant or financial planner and then call the Edwardsville Community Foundation to discuss your desired option.”
For more information on major gifts, please contact Edwardsville Community Foundation at (855) 464-3223. Donations may be mailed to Edwardsville Community Foundation to P.O. Box 102, Edwardsville, IL 62025. Please make a notation on your check that the funds are to be applied to the “A Better Place to Play” campaign. If you wish to support a specific parks project, please also notate the designated park with your donation.
Those interested in learning more about the “A Better Place to Play” campaign can find information online at www.betterplacetoplay.com or call (618) 692-7538. “A Better Place to Play” can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abetterplacetoplay and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BP2Play.