American Public Works Association

Rockford receives DNR grant to complete Rogue River Nature Trail

February 3, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL At a recent Rogue River Watershed Council meeting, invited guest Rockford City Manager Michael Young let it be known that Rockford had been extremely fortunate in again receiving a DNR trust fund grant to complete the final phase (III) of the Rogue River Nature Trail. Envisioned by City planners some 20 years ago, the Rogue River Nature Trail was conceived to provide a beautiful and safe walkable trail along the west side of the Rogue River. More importantly, it was meant to provide a pedestrian pathway connecting the City neighborhoods on the west side of the river to the heart of Rockford’s downtown area. Two phases have been completed. Phase I, originating at the City’s southern border and continuing a third of a mile to Peppler Memorial Park, was completed in 2005. Inclusive of the first trail segment was the existing Trestle Bridge across the Rogue River and the White Pine Trail, allowing trail users from the City’s southwestern neighborhoods access to downtown and the walkway across the Rogue River Dam. Phase II, completed in 2008, connected to Phase I in Peppler Memorial Park at the gazebo and continued northward riverside for another third of a mile, ending in the vicinity of Prospect and W. Prospect streets. Constructed as a boardwalk with railings and lookouts, this beautiful elevated segment was so well conceived that in 2009 it was awarded the “Project of the Year Award—Structures” for projects less than $5 million by the American Public Works Association. If Phase II had one failing, it was that it terminated at its north end with no direct connection to riverside neighborhoods and the Highlands neighborhoods to the west. As a result, trail users had to make a u-turn and return to Peppler Park. With the awarding of 2011’s DNR trust fund grant to complete the missing link, Phase III will continue the trail riverside some 700 feet to an already existing sidewalk connector off Chelsea Court in the Riverchase neighborhood. Eureka! With the completion of this final segment, the Rogue River Nature Trail will open up pathways to all of the neighborhoods, from north to south, on the west side of the river, including the Highlands and Heritage Park. In doing so, […]