Graphic provided by the Alton Parks and Recreation Department
ALTON — With a $125,000 donation from Phillips 66 in December 2016 that put the ball on the field and in line with the goal, the city of Alton Parks and Recreation Department’s vision for a revitalized Gordon F. Moore Community Park will soon be a reality, complete with a new one-of-a-kind all-inclusive playground.
Funds totaling approximately $425,000 are still needed for this roughly $2 million project so construction can start by summer 2017. Support from the community at all levels is what it will take to make it happen, Alton Parks and Recreation Director Michael Haynes said.
“It’s a tremendous boost to get the support of the community behind this project,” Haynes said. “It’s important for Alton to keep Gordon Moore Park as a destination for family and company outings as well as sporting events and major tournaments.”
As the first of its kind in the metropolitan area, the all-inclusive playground is anticipated to be a major draw with its universal accessibility that will be designed so children of any age and ability can come out and play.
The playground will be geared toward children of all abilities, including those with physical, social, emotional, sensory, cognitive and communication disabilities and their parents and grandparents, as well as veterans with disabilities — giving everyone the opportunity to play.
Other renovation and restoration plans at the park include a new entrance, a new soccer pavilion and restroom, new concession and snack areas and renovations to the Muenstermann building. Plans call for the entire project to be complete in 18 to 24 months. This would be the first major improvement project for the park in nearly 40 years.
Looking for an excuse to dine out for lunch or dinner? That’s just one way you can help raise funds for the project.
On Wednesday, March 22, 17 restaurants will donate 10 percent of their sales to fund park improvements. In Alton, participants include Tony’s Restaurant, Bluff City Grill, Old Bakery Beer Company, Gentelin’s on Broadway, Johnson’s Corner, Jimmy the Greek’s, Castelli’s Restaurant at 255, Spectators Grill at Bowl Haven, Bossanova, Elijah P’s Burgers & Brews, Alton Sports Tap, Hops House at Argosy Casino Alton, Captain’s Table Buffet at the casino and Great Rivers Tap & Grill at the Atrium Hotel and Conference Center. Other participating restaurants include High Flyers Grille at St. Louis Regional Airport, Doc Holliday’s in Cottage Hills and Dairy Queen in Bethalto.
There are many other ways you can be a partner in the plans budding to life at the park. Donations are being accepted from $100,000 down to buying a brick to be installed in designated areas. For information, contact project committee member Amy Orban at Liberty Bank, (618) 462-7000; or Haynes at the city’s parks and recreation office, (618) 463-3580.
Donations are tax-deductible and can be made to the project through Pride Incorporated’s website or by mailing a donation to Pride Inc., 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL 62035. Be sure to note your donation is for the park project by writing “ICO GMP” on the check’s memo line.
Commemorative water bottles are also available at the Alton Regional Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Alton treasurer’s office or at the parks and recreation office for a $5 donation.
“Parks around the country are becoming economic engines,” Park Project Committee member Bob Ramsey said. “We need to make the parks so attractive that they continue to bring in visitors, both local and abroad.”
Ramsey pointed out Gordon Moore is more of a regional park than one only enjoyed by local residents, with guests enjoying the roses, fishing and going there for weddings, graduation photo sessions and more.
“The completion of this work will raise the morale of the Alton community as a whole,” said Ramsey, and he is hopeful the community does indeed pitch in, through donations and labor. “Come out and be a part of this project. Show up and work on three or four Saturdays and garner a sense of ownership in it. It will be something you can tell the grandkids for years to come.”
Other sponsors and partners at press time include the Illinois Park and Recreation Association, Play 4 All, Cunningham Recreation, Liberty Bank, Hanley Industries and the Realtors Association. Local trade unions are also providing approximately $150,000 in free labor, just as they did when the park was first developed.