Phase 1 of Atwood Silent Sports Trails Fully Funded, Thanks to Private Donations; Construction to Begin
ROCKFORD, IL – Thanks to local citizens, organizations, a grant from Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and “silent sports” enthusiasts, the first phase of Atwood Silent Sports Trails is fully funded, and construction will begin soon.
In 2015, a group of local citizens and “silent sports” enthusiasts approached the Rockford Park District to share their vision for the development of non-motorized recreational opportunities at Atwood Park, 7074 Rydberg Road, Rockford. A silent sports facility would include activities such as mountain biking, hiking, trail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, and fat biking, to name a few.
In total, $464,000 was needed for Phase 1 of the Atwood Silent Sports Trails project, which includes 4.5 miles of natural surface, multi-purpose trails, a 24-space asphalt parking lot, and water service with bike wash station. Tonight, Rockford Park District Board of Commissioners approved a construction contract with Terra Firma Trails, LLC, a trail builder subcontractor for N-TRAK Group, LLC. Immediately following the meeting, supporters gathered to celebrate the fundraising goal achieved and share more about Phase 1.
“This moment has been three years in the making, and was only possible thanks to a very dedicated and hard-working group of volunteers, some who served on a Silent Sports advisory committee, and others who organized fundraisers or advocated for the project. All of these stakeholders have such passion for this project, and realize the economic impact, as it will provide citizens and visitors alike diverse recreation opportunities that are unique to the region,” said Becky Lambert, Atwood Park Manager.
A grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) was also received for $200,000. By utilizing private donations and grant money for Phase 1, the District is minimizing reliance upon tax dollars. Construction for the water service and bike wash station will likely start before the end of the yea, and the majority of construction will take place next year. Atwood Silent Sports Trails Phase 1 is expected to be completed in summer 2019.
About Silent Sports Master Plan
The plan for Seth B. Atwood Park includes the development of 20 miles of purposeful and sustainable multi-use trails, as well as a trailhead. The unique topography of Atwood Park encompasses woodland, prairie, river, and marsh habitats, making it an ideal site for year-round outdoor pursuits. The plan utilizes existing trails, closes some trails, and improves trail system connectivity for all users. The 64-page master plan can be viewed in its entirety at www.atwoodpark.org/silent-sports.