West State Street Linear Park
City of Rockford
City of Rockford / Rockford Park District
TGDA was selected to design a new linear park system for the City of Rockford, which runs along US 20. Rockford is the third largest city in Illinois, located on both banks of the Rock River. In recent years, Rockford has suffered population loss due to the loss of manufacturing jobs and economic downturns. As an effort to revitalize the city, the West State Street Linear Park serves as a catalyst for infill development. More importantly, it also provides a new asset for this historically underserved community.
This project is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of Rockford, local community groups and stakeholders, and the Rockford Park District. The City of Rockford and residents communicated the importance of diverse park spaces, including areas for children, paths for exercise, and garden spaces during facilitated meetings in which TGDA participated. Our masterplan for the linear park features integrated stormwater management elements and multiple programming opportunities that integrate distinct park areas in prominent nodes along the paths. The park provides an off-street bike lane, new sidewalks and community gathering spaces.
An extensive system of pathways encourage active living and are punctuated with park respites and bike plazas. A playground near the center of the linear park is both an asset to the neighborhood and a destination within the park. Monuments mark the bike path and are dedicated to significant Rockford residents from the area. The Rockford Rotary Club donated an additional feature to the site, which includes a labyrinth and additional seating areas, that add a special element to the dynamic linear park.