A sandy future awaits Riverside Park shore
To help the Friends of Riverside Park win a $20,000 grant to improve the park’s shoreline, vote daily through Friday, Oct. 30, at tomsofmaine.com.
JANESVILLE The Friends of Riverside Park members are taking advantage of the Rock River drawdown to clean up the park’s shoreline and hope to land a $20,000 grant to make improvements.
With the river drawn down for repair on the Centerway Dam, much of the riverbed upstream is exposed. RECAP workers are helping clear chunks of broken concrete placed along the shoreline in the 1950s, said Pam VanBrocklin, vice president of the Friends group.
The concrete was intended to minimize erosion, but it’s drifted into the river and deters boaters, kayakers and other water users from entering the park, she said.
The goal is to add a pier, plant flood-resistant trees and re-create a sandy beach where boaters could access the park, she said.
The Friends group is hoping for a $20,000 boost.
The Friends of Riverside Park is among 50 finalists for five $20,000 grants. The winners will be determined by the number of votes cast online.
If awarded a grant, the Friends group could speed up the project by bringing in machinery to help remove the concrete, VanBrocklin said.
The source of the grants is Tom’s of Maine, which sells natural personal care products and donates 10 percent of its pretax profits each year to charitable organizations. The company received grant proposals from more than 2,000 applicants and has narrowed the finalists to 50.
Voting is open through Friday, Oct. 30, on the company’s Web site tomsofmaine.com.
VanBrocklin encourages residents to vote often. The site allows users to vote every day.
The grant would help pay to remove the concrete debris from the shoreline, clean the sandy beach area, replace lost sand, plant flood-resistant trees and install a pier.
The project would increase the natural beauty of the shoreline while allowing boaters, kayakers, canoeists, fishermen, naturalists and families access to the park’s recreation, bathroom and picnicking facilities, according to the proposal.
“With our focus on revitalizing the park and using it to its fullest, we know many boaters would love to pull up to this great park, use bathroom, picnic and recreation facilities and enjoy the park,” VanBrocklin said.
“It’s just a great opportunity, and we want to (win) the $20,000 because it will not only benefit the park but the whole community,” she said.