East Peoria will add a splash pad and an amphitheater to Levee Park next year, paid for in part with a $400,000 grant from the state.
The Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant will allow the East Peoria Community Foundation and the City of East Peoria to move forward with the addition.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced on July 8 that 87 parks in 31 counties statewide will receive a total of $30.3 million in OSLAD grant money. OSLAD grants can provide up to one-half of a project’s funds.
"Investments in our local parks are investments in our communities," Pritzker said. "Park projects don’t just create jobs and boost local economic development — they open the gateway for a healthier, happier Illinois. Every family in our state deserves nearby access to outdoor public spaces where they can gather with their friends and neighbors — and enjoy some sunshine, too."
According to City of East Peoria Director of Planning and Community Development Ty Livingston, construction of the splash pad and amphitheater could begin as early as next spring. The beginning of the project will signify Phase Three in the development of Levee Park. Livingston hopes construction will be completed by next summer.
“We have a concept for the splash pad,” said Livingston. “But we still have to engineer it, so to speak. So, that’s what’s going to happen over the winter.”
ivingston estimated that construction of the splash pad and amphitheater will cost between $1.2 and $1.4 million. The Foundation is funding the development of Levee Park entirely through grant money and donations.
The development of Levee Park began in 2018 with the dedication of a reading garden to complete the park’s first phase. Livingston believes that Phase Two, which includes the construction of a large multi-purpose plaza and restrooms and the installation of utilities, will be finished by this fall.