Rock Island is often recognized for its parks and recreation and it's no wonder. Rock Island Parks and Recreation Department operates 26 sites with over 848 acres of green space. Many of Rock Island's parks have a rich history and some have unique uses today that are highlighted here. Click here for a complete list of city parks. One state historic site is also located in Rock Island.
SCHWIEBERT RIVERFRONT PARK
The downtown park offers spectacular views of the Mississippi River, and includes an open-air stage, digital playground areas, interactive fountain, observation shelter, waterfront promenade, bike trail, and beautifully landscaped grounds.
Black Hawk State Historic Site
Black Hawk State Historic Site was voted one of the Seven Wonders in Illinois! Located at 1510 46th Avenue, the site was once the home of a warrior named Black Hawk, and the steeply rolling 208-acre park overlooks the Rock River. Take your picnic lunch or hike through the many beautiful wooded trails. The deciduous hardwood forest and the Rock River provide habitat for a variety of wildlife. Nearly 175 species of birds can be observed during the year, though spring is a favorite time for observing migrating species. Bald eagles can be observed along the river during the winter months. Numerous wildflowers, shrubs, and vines grow under the canopies of the many oak trees. More than 30 wildflower species bloom in April and May.
Native Americans and nineteenth-century settlers made their homes on this site, but the area is most closely identified with the Sauk nation and the warrior-leader whose name it honors. The Hauberg Indian Museum, located in Watch Tower Lodge constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934, interprets the culture of the Sauk and Mesquakie. The collection of Rock Island philanthropist Dr. John Hauberg forms the basis of the museum's collection.
Ben Williamson Park
Ben Williamson Park, at 44th Street and the Rock River, includes a boat ramp for smaller watercraft including canoes, rowboats and kayaks. The park is home to the Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Shows, a nationally ranked team.
Hasselroth Dog Park
Hasselroth Dog Park, at 28th Street and 78th Avenue West, is a place where dogs can socialize and run off-leash in a safe, secure environment. A fenced, open area has become a popular place for dogs and their owners to exercise, socialize, play, and learn. For dog park rules, please click here.
Hauberg Civic Center
Hauberg Civic Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the former home of John and Susanne Hauberg. This architectural masterpiece, located at 1300 24th Street, was donated to the City of Rock Island Parks & Recreation to be used as Hauberg Civic Center in 1956. The center is available to all non-profit civic and recreational groups, educational, and philanthropic organizations for a small rental fee. For more information on rental rates click here.
The setting of this house is splendid - it wraps around a curving hillside on a very disciplined but irregular plan. Landscape architect Jens Jensen laid out the ten-acre tract to appear as native Wisconsin woodland. The house is a Prairie style masterpiece designed by Chicago architect Robert C. Spencer, a contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright. Mrs. Hauberg's favorite flower - the tulip - is featured stylistically throughout the exterior and interior.
Jaycee's Alan A Campbell Sports Facility
Jaycee's Alan A Campbell Sports Facility, located at Andalusia Road and 29th Street West, has four softball and six soccer fields. This is the site of many Amateur Softball Association sanctioned tournaments each summer.
Lincoln Park just celebrated 100 years. Located at 11th Avenue and 38th Street the park is a woodland site that was selected for its grandeur and views overlooking the Mississippi River valley. A wading pool and Classical pavilion were added in 1930 and a bandstand was constructed in 1934-5. Summer programs include outdoor Starlight Review concerts held Tuesday evenings and live outdoor theater provided by the Genesius Guild.
Longview Park's luscious flower gardens are admired by many. Located at 18th Avenue and 17th Street, the park has many amenities including a conservatory, greenhouse, and 39-acres of green space, plus it is the home to Whitewater Junction aquatic center.
Longview also hosts the one of the best disc golf courses in the Quad Cities. The course offers 18 holes beginning at the top of the hill, and meandering throughout the park on hilly terrain with demanding 3, 4, and 5 par holes.
O.C. Simond, a famous landscape gardener, designed the park in 1902. He suggested making the park more accessible to the people by building walks and drives so the natural beauty of the area could be enjoyed. Since then, no major reshaping of the park land itself has taken place. A walk through Longview Park today reveals an area consistent with the original vision; there are playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis and basketball courts and there are large open areas for leisurely walks.