Rockford Park District approves grant submission to build 'silen - – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford Park District approves grant submission to build 'silent sports' facility


With weather like this mountain biking and hiking probably aren't activities you want to do right now.

But that could change if Rockford gets a "silent sports" facility.

A group of community members recently approached the Rockford Park District with the idea.

"We've got great parks, but one thing that we are lacking is a comprehensive network of off road multi-use trails," said Ian Linnabary, Rockford Park District Commissioner.

Linnabary also helped bring the idea of the "silent sports" to the Park District.

"Rockford is a community that has a really strong 'silent sports' culture," adds Linnabary.

A “silent sports” facility would include activities such as: mountain biking, hiking, rail running, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife observation, and fat biking, to name a few.

The plans are to build at Atwood Park, 2685 New Milford School Rd., Rockford.

The overall plan includes the development of 8 to 12 miles of trails.

The cost roughly $250,000, money the park district doesn't have.

So it's turning to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails program for a grant.

If approved, the grant would cover nearly $200,000.

The remaining money would come from the park district and fundraising.

"One of our goals is to do this project with as little local taxpayer dollars as possible," said Linnabary.

Linnabary says this will give people the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities year-round, which brings people into that mode of being healthy.

"And I think being healthy leads to being happy, more productive and overall leads to a better productive community," said Linnabary.

The park district won't know whether it's secured the grant for at least 12 months, but it's already starting its fundraising efforts.

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