Citizen group looks to save Rockford trolley - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Citizen group looks to save Rockford trolley

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Since 1936, Trolley 36 has been shuttling residents and tourists along Rockford's riverfront. 

"I would teach the little children for the school day rides. I would teach them the trolley song and we would drive down to the symbol and ring the bell...it's just a fun, magical part of our community," said Jodi Beach.

But, the trolley got cut this year to save money.

"We had to make some tough decisions to balance our budget in 2018," said Superintendent of Operations for the Rockford Park District Laurie Anderson.

The idea of no summer trolley didn't sit well with some residents. 

"My first thought was that's not going to happen," said Jim McDowell. "We're going to do something about it." 

And that's just what they're doing. Since the budget cut, a group of citizens, including McDowell and Beach, has set up a fundraiser to get the trolley back on track for the summer. 

"We can step in and raise money to fill in the gap," said Beach.

That gap is $16,000, which the park district says would re-open the trolley on Fridays and Saturdays for the regular summer season.

"When they come together to say this is important to them, and they're willing to put their time and money behind it, that's exciting," said Anderson.

The group says it's already raised 11-hundred dollars and is confident it will have the rest by the April 13 deadline. 

"For a little effort, a small effort on our part, we can keep the trolley running, and keep kids going up and down the river and enjoying it and families being together and enjoying it," said McDowell.

A Rockford tradition that could keep rolling along if enough people hop on board. 

If you're interested in helping save the trolley for summer of 2018, you can donate to the park district foundation here


 

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