Red Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Renovations at HT Custer Park

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A red ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, June 21, 2024, to celebrate the renovations and improvements recently incorporated at HT Custer Park, located at 626 East Fifth Street in Galesburg. The total project costs were just over $1 million, and renovations included a new playground, picnic shelter, restrooms, walking path, bicycle training area, rain/butterfly garden, and parking lot.

The improvements were made possible by an Open Space and Land Acquisition Development (OSLAD) grant, as well as funding assistance from PlayCore and GameTime in partnership with Illinois Parks and Recreation Association. The OSLAD grant provided $400,000.00 in funding for the project, which also required a 50% local match from the City of Galesburg. The funding award through Illinois Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA), Playcore, and GameTime provided $117,845.00 towards the purchase of playground equipment.

“We are extremely grateful for this grant funding, which has made the renovation project at HT Custer Park possible,” said Don Miles, Director of Parks and Recreation. “We are pleased with the final outcome, and excited to offer another playground and expanded park for our community to enjoy.”

PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research and Education (CORE) awarded its National Demonstration Site® Designation to HT Custer playground for the thoughtful alignment with the evidence-based Play On! design best practices to promote physical activity and fun for youth. The 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design™ were also incorporated to create an outdoor play environment where both physical and social inclusion can occur to the greatest extent possible.

HT Custer Park will be listed on the PlayCore National Demonstration Site Map at https://www.playcore.com/nds/map#171166. As a National Demonstration Site, CORE’s Data Service Lab will be working with the City of Galesburg to provide data translation reports on this site’s contribution to overall community vitality. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the research by scanning the QR Code on the National Demonstration Site sign located near the playground.

“We are thrilled to have completed another park improvement project, which increases the quality of life in our community,” said Eric Hanson, City Manager. “Each renovation, project, and improvement in our community, whether it’s quality of life, economic development, or infrastructure, steers our community towards increased vitality.”

More information on City of Galesburg parks and recreational facilities can be found on the city’s website.

***Courtesy of the City of Galesburg***

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