Go Green! Rock Island has made it a priority. The City of Rock Island recognizes responsible environmental stewardship as part of its mission in serving the citizens of this community. The City is actively moving forward with innovative energy solutions that will create a healthier city that is safer and more secure.
The single biggest green effort for the City to date is the purchase of a hydroelectric plant along the Rock River that powers City facilities.
The City has adopted an Environmental Impact Policy, purchased a fleet of hybrid vehicles, instituted a curbside recycling program, created an award winning rain garden program for citizens, completed a park based on environmental best practices – Sylvan Slough Natural Area, and created sustainable incentives for businesses. In addition, the City has installed LED traffic lights and winter decorations, provides stormwater management and brownfield remediation, and has added bike lanes and trails throughout the city.
The City created a Green Team of City employees to focus on making the City operations more environmentally friendly. The Advanced Technology and Sustainability Consortium is designed for businesses to network and learn more about sustainability
City’s Steps to Go Green
Rock Island is doing many things as a city government to become more energy-efficient, follow sustainable practices, and be environmentally friendly. To see how the City works with its residents and businesses to go green, visit the following pages:
Rock Island is a member of Cool Cities, U.S. Green Building Council, ILCLEI, Illinois Solar Energy Association, and the mayor has signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement.
Rock Island has received several awards for green initiatives:
- Lieutenant Governor’s Environmental Hero Award – Green Initiatives 2008, Rain Gardens for Rock Island 2005
- Urban Innovations in Illinois Award – Rain Gardens for Rock Island 2006
- Radish Award – Green Initiatives 2008
- River Action’s Eddy Award:
- Hydroelectric Plant 2010
- Sylvan Slough Natural Area Redevelopment 2008
- Rain Gardens for Rock Island 2006
For more information, visit the City’s web site at www.rigov.org.
The City of Rock Island is a council-manager form of local government. The Mayor and City Council establish policy direction for the city, approve the city budget, and decide on taxing levels to fund municipal services. They appoint a full-time City Manager who has responsibility to oversee city operations, hire the heads of the city departments, and make recommendations to the City Council.
The City provides many essential services for citizens including:
- Police, fire, and emergency medical services
- Water & sewer
- Business support
- Neighborhood information, planning, and zoning
- Inspections, permits
- Parks & recreation
- Recycling, refuse, and yard waste collection
- Streets & sidewalks, parking
City facilities include:
- City Hall
- Three libraries
- Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center
- Two golf courses
- Whitewater Junction pool
- Eighteen parks
- Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center (RIFAC)
- Sunset Marina
- Police department
- Four fire stations
- Public works facility
- Water & sewer treatment plants
- Hydroelectric plant
For more information, visit the City’s web site at www.rigov.org.
The City offers eNewsletters from the mayor, on neighborhood activities, parks events, golf, and library information. To sign up for eNews from the City of Rock Island click here.
Rock Island leads the way when it comes to the arts, cultural festivals, quality of life, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation.
The City of Rock Island won a 2010 Eddy Award in revitalization for the hydroelectric plant and one in design for Schwiebert Riverfront Park. Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation won a 2009 Eddy Award in design from River Action for the McKesson Lofts Green Roof. City of Rock Island won a 2009 Eddy Award for revitalization for the Centennial Bridge Visitor Center. City of Rock Island won the 2007 River Action Eddy Award for organizing the steam engine train excursions. The event garnered national attention as Trains Magazine lauded it as “the steam event of the year.” River Action gave the 2006 Eddy Award for Stewardship to the City of Rock Island for the Rain Gardens for Rock Island Program stating that the ecological design could serve as a model for other communities. The Eddy Awards are given for outstanding work on the river and “going against the current to get things done.”
Environmental Hero Award
State of Illinois Lt. Governor saluted the City of Rock Island for its forward-looking green initiatives and presented the City with a 2008 Environmental Hero Award. Awards are made to recognize the commitment to providing and maintaining a healthful environment for current and future generations in Illinois.
The City of Rock Island received a 2005 Environmental Hero Award from the State of Illinois Lieutenant Governor for a new rain garden program. Thirteen citizens, cities, and groups were recognized from their commitment to providing and maintaining a healthful environment for this and future generations of Illinois. The City of Rock Island unveiled Rain Gardens for Rock Island to encourage local property owners to develop rain gardens for at least five years. Dozens of new rain gardens have been planted to prevent flooding and improve water quality.
Tree City USA
Rock Island has been named a Tree City USA community for 20 years. The program promotes tree planting and care programs in urban areas and calls public attention to the economic, health, and aesthetic benefits trees offer.
Rock Island and Davenport are Most Livable Cities
Rock Island and Davenport have been awarded First Place honors in the 2007 City Livability Awards Program, sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Waste Management. For the past 28 years, cities have competed for this very prestigious award, which recognizes mayoral leadership for developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities. The City Livability Award was given for Davenport and Rock Island’s RiverVision Plan, a far-reaching and broadly participatory waterfront development plan. Seldom, if ever, have two cities in two states planned and implemented a bi-coastal water’s edge riverfront and brownfield reclamation project. While both Davenport and Rock Island continue to have success in revitalizing their downtown areas, before this plan neither had taken full advantage of the area’s greatest asset – the Mississippi River. The RiverVision project area is on the Mississippi River, one of the largest and most significant rivers in the world. The 61-page plan synthesizes the best ideas from nearly a thousand contributors emphasizing five strategic goals.
Seven Wonders of Illinois
Black Hawk State Historic Site was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. After thousands of votes were cast, this historic site emerged as a winner. The site features a tree-lined park with walking paths along the scenic Rock River, and pays homage to the Sauk and Mesquakie (Fox) Native American tribes who occupied the area as far back as 12,000 years ago.
The City of Rock Island received a 2008 Radish Award from Radish Magazine, one of ten given in the Quad Cities. The Mayor and City Council have led city staff and employees in a series of ongoing initiatives that embody environmental stewardship and leadership. These efforts include signing the Kyoto Protocol, buying a hydropower plant and establishing a ‘Green Team.’
The City of Rock Island recognizes responsible environmental stewardship as part of its mission in serving the citizens of this community. The City is actively moving forward with innovative energy solutions that will create a healthier city that is safer and more secure.
Rock Island won a Savvy Award, one of the most prestigious recognitions for marketing communities from 3CMA (City-County Marketing & Communications Association). The Rock Solid, Rock Island branding strategy won the 2006 Savvy Award in the branding / new logo category for cities with a population up to 463,000. There were thirteen entrants, and Rock Island beat Miami Beach, FL and Reno, NV to win the top award.
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award
Sala Flats was one of nine projects to receive the 2006 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation. Landmarks Illinois has been assisted by a generous grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to honor individuals and organizations whose works demonstrate a commitment to excellence to in historic preservation. By honoring these individuals, organizations, projects and programs, Landmarks Illinois and the Driehaus Foundation hope to inspire others to take action to preserve, protect, and promote historic resources.
Presidents’ Arts Friendly Community Award
The City of Rock Island has received the 2005 Presidents’ Arts Friendly Community Award from the Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation and Illinois Municipal League. Rock Island was selected as a model for how mayors and other municipal leaders can work with artists, arts organizations, and volunteers to improve quality of life for residents. The city was nominated by Quad City Arts for implementing, maintaining and growing The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District.
Urban Innovation in Illinois Award
All across Illinois, local governments demonstrate originality and creativity, increasing service per dollar and improving quality of life. Rock Island residents are encouraged to manage storm water by creating rain gardens. Rock Island is one of five winners of the Urban Innovation in Illinois 2006 Awards Competition. The Rain Gardens for Rock Island Program is intended to enhance neighborhoods and educate the citizens on the benefits and reasons for rain gardens. The program will assist homeowners and businesses install proper rain gardens through financial assistance and advice. For more information on the rain gardens program click here.
Preserve America Award
Rock Island was designated a Preserve America community. The Preserve America initiative is a White House effort to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage.
Award of Excellence
Rock Island won the prestigious 2005 Award of Excellence from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA). The historic preservation video “Old Friends Are Worth Keeping” won the award in the education/training video category for cities with a population 85,000 and under. The Rock Island Preservation Commission created the video “Old Friends Are Worth Keeping” to present information about historic preservation and historic architecture to the community. The video highlights the importance of protecting buildings through landmark designation and informing the public about the criteria for determining which buildings are worthy of protection.
Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the City of Rock Island for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. This was the twenty-second consecutive year that the City has received this prestigious award. In order to be awarded a Certificate of Achievement, a government must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive annual financial report. This report must satisfy both generally accepted accounting principles and applicable legal requirements.
In addition, the City of Rock Island also received the GFOA Award for Distinguished Budget Presentation for its annual budget for fiscal 2009/2010. This was the twenty-third consecutive year that the City of Rock Island received this award. In order to qualify for the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, the City’s budget document was judged to be proficient in several categories including policy documentation, financial planning and organization.
Included in Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love
The Rock Island Library is included in the first book to sing the praises and show the beauty of public libraries. “Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love” will feature only eighty libraries in the United States.