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2nd round of upgrades at Davenport's Veterans Memorial Park

It has been more than a decade since the park was first renovated.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Davenport's riverfront is getting another upgrade.

It has been more than a decade since the first phase of renovations at Davenport's Veterans Memorial Park. That first round included installing the flagpoles and memorial area.

Now the city is starting phase two, which will provide even more options along the riverfront.

"We are really proud to have this day happen," said Bill Churchill.

Churchill is the president of the Friends of Veterans Memorial Park. That group works to raise funds to install additions at the park. Those additions include the star memorial near the flagpole, and a soon-to-be-added memorial brick walkway, Churchill said.

"We have an 8-foot-tall, 40-foot long mural that has been painted," Churchill said. "It recognizes the five branches of the military."

Davenport city leaders, along with Churchill, broke ground on the second round of renovations Thursday afternoon, which will include trails and an amphitheater-type space. It all starts with an $800,000 improvement project, funded by the City of Davenport.

"All these trees and weeds and bush that's out here now is gonna be gone, and you're gonna be able to use it," Churchill said. "The overlook will be beautiful looking right on, the bike trail goes right by here."

Parks and Recreation Director Chad Dyson said the plan includes an overlook along the Mississippi River. He calls the plan a "great mix" for the park's design.

Credit: Davenport Parks and Recreation Department

Dyson, however, is not concerned about flooding in the park, even with it being right along the river.

"In the 2019 flood it didn't go under," Dyson said. "Access may be an issue because we do lose Beiderbecke and part of Marquette."

That was a relief for Churchill.

"That's the neat thing to know that it's not going to flood or wash away, no it's not gonna happen," Chuchill said.

Instead, this community is focused on what the park will become over the next decade.

Construction is scheduled to start on Monday, with clearing away trees and brush, Dyson said. Dyson expects the project to be wrapped up by the end of this summer.

The Friends of Veterans Memorial Park already have designs and plans for future renovations, Churchill said.

Those designs include expanding the flagpole and memorial area, but the group is still waiting to determine how that project would be funded.

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