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Geneva’s RiverPark transferred to park district

Published: Monday, June 2, 2014 10:15 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – RiverPark, the nearly two-acre riverside park north of Hamilton Street and east of River Lane, now belongs to the Geneva Park District, as aldermen approved its transfer Monday.

The park was started by a citizen initiative in 1999, when the city first bought the property for $1.9 million from Shodeen Development. 

A citizen group formed a nonprofit which raised about $750,000 to develop the park, which now includes bike and pedestrian paths, amphitheater, mosaic tile pavers, a history wall, stone outcroppings, and is landscaped with native plants and shrubs.

It was turned over to the city in 2008 and the nonprofit was dissolved.

City officials said that transferring the property to the park district made sense because the city does not have the resources nor expertise to properly maintain the property. 

"We believe the park district is the best steward for RiverPark," Mayor Kevin Burns said. "We are delighted to partner with our friends at the park district to ensure what was created by a citizens' group continues on forever."

Burns said $10,000 in maintenance costs for RiverPark was because of the mowing, fertilizing of the grass and replacement of the stones and pavers as they became worn or broken.

Between 2002 and 2008 the park received more than 95 volunteer work days, more than 12,000 volunteer labor hours, 10,000 lunches donated by 29 local restaurants, officials said.

Some 50,000 prairie and wetlands plants were started from seed with more than 5,600   native plants and trees planted, officials said.

Geneva Park District officials previously acted to approve the property transfer. 

In a related action, the city dissolved an intergovernmental agreement with the park district for maintenance of RiverPark, because it is no longer necessary, officials said.

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