Rock Island Parks and Recreation hosted a public meeting Tuesday about its sports programming strategic plan at the Rock Island Fitness and Activity Center. One of the main talking points included the Campbell Sports Complex, and the return of youth sports to the local Rock Island neighborhood area.
“We want to get back to more of a traditional neighborhood style park and rec programming model,” said John Gripp, director for Rock Island Parks and Recreation. “Where you’re able to walk to, ride your bike to, have very short transportation.”
The Parks and Rec department for the City of Rock Island hopes the transition can help families in the area. With better means of transportation, the focus for Parks and Rec will be closer to Rock Island neighborhoods. “We want to move and transition our sports programming activities from the sports complex to our in-town facilities,” said Gripp.
John Gripp also told Local 4 News that he wants to focus on kids and families that can benefit from the services they provide.
“We have several youth that struggle with not only means but transportation,” Gripp said. “We have a growing immigrant population that struggles with the same, and a lot of under-served populations in our community and we feel that this is a great way to engage these folks.” Gripp says a large part of the decision was made from the sports complex’s location.
“What they’ve transitioned to in the corridor is industry,” Gripp said. “If you go out to that location you’ll see there’s industry, industry, the sports complex, industry, industry.” Those industries that the sports complex is located next to won’t provide an optimal location for growth outside of the complex.
“There’s really no room near the complex for residential, restaurant, hotel growth,” Gripp said. “In other areas in the Quad Cities, there are specialized complexes, that’s what they thrive on.”