---- — DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A project to create a park that provides green space along the Mississippi River in Davenport has been awarded a $300,000 state grant for a second phase, city officials said.
The River Heritage Park project is getting the money from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources under the Resource Enhancement and Protection program, which takes money from Iowa gambling receipts and the sale of specialized license plates and uses it for programs to preserve natural and cultural resources.
The announcement of the grant was part of a ribbon cutting Friday of the seven-acre park's first phase, which included construction of 600 feet of decorative railing on the Mississippi River seawall and a gazebo built by the Davenport Rotary Club, The Quad-City Times reported (http://bit.ly/188j1oJ ) .
A 20-space parking lot remains to be completed in the park's first stage. The DNR grant will pay for an additional 400 feet of railing and grading in addition to construction of a promenade by the river.
"History will be recreated and come alive in this new park, and the people of Davenport will be proud," said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba. He was one of several city officials, members of the city's Levee Improvement Commission, and representatives of the Davenport Rotary Club to watch a ribbon-cutting of the first phase of the park and the unveiling of a big check announcing the new grant.
Gluba and local historian Karen Anderson wove together the site's history: the western side of the first Mississippi River railroad bridge, where the treaty ending the Black Hawk War was signed, how Robert E. Lee surveyed the river's rapids, and Abraham Lincoln's involvement a lawsuit that pitted railroad interests against riverboat companies. Anderson called the location the "cradle of the Western frontier."
The Rotarians' elevated gazebo, to commemorate the chapter's 100th anniversary, dominates the western end of the park and offers sweeping views of the river.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com