Leaving a lasting legacy at Levings Park - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Leaving a lasting legacy at Levings Park


When you set your standards high, success tends to follow. It's how Rockford resident, Elbert Jordan lives his life. 

Jordan said, "If I don't set high standards then I can't ask for high standards." 

Jordan takes pride in everything from the clothes on his back to the shine on his shoes. 

"I was in the military and that's the way we think," Jordan said. "Even your shoes gotta be shined!" 

So it just came natural for him to take pride in his own backyard, Levings Park. But when the standards for the park began to slip, Elbert was determined to not let Levings Fade. 

"I was not going to let it die," said Jordan. "The image that was out here and the perception of the park, I needed to change all of that." 

He did. 

In 1986, he spear headed a renovation of the park with the Rockford Park District. He also created the 'Summer Talent Showcase' to get kids off the streets.

Today, you'll see a plaque in his honor but that's not the only place you'll see Elbert at Levings. 

Daniel Jarrett, owner of West Rock Wake Park located at Levings Park said, "Taking a park that was, in a way, kinda going away and he wasn't going to let it die. His legacy is all over this park." 

This summer Rockford Sharefest will continue that legacy. 

Director of Rockford Sharefest, Creig Day said, "The opportunity we have is to actually take the ball from Elbert, who has worked for 30 years. Now it's our turn to advance this park."

As Sharefest looks to breath new life into a section of southwest Rockford, Elbert see's it as an opportunity to bring the whole city together. 

"When you have a lot of fingers, you can't do a lot with each finger," said Jordan. "But when you take those fingers and put them together to make a fist you got power and with power you can change a lot of things. A lot of things can be changed when people come together." 

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