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Peoria's Trewyn Park upgraded with $600,000 worth of improvements

Peoria Park District staff, city officials, Park Board trustees and representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cut a ribbon for new amenities at Trewyn Park on Monday.
Collin Schopp
Peoria Park District staff, city officials, park board trustees and representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cut a ribbon on Monday to celebrater new amenities at Trewyn Park.

The Peoria Park District and City of Peoria unveiled more than $600,000 in finished upgrades to one of the city’s oldest parks on Monday.

Trewyn Park has a new shelter with electricity, accessible walking paths, new playground equipment, and updated basketball courts. The project is funded through the Community Development Block Grant CARES Act, with a unanimous vote by the city council allocating the funds in January 2022.

Peoria Park District Executive Director Emily Cahill said gathering public input was important to making the most effective upgrades with the funding, as well as getting the opinion of groups that regularly use the park.

“The PCCEO Early Head Start kids, they were a part of our voting bloc that helped to pick the playground structure that we installed,” she said. “This pavilion is also home to Market 309. So we're able to work with that not-for-profit to bring access to produce to this part of the community where there isn't a grocery store.”

Peoria Mayor Rita Ali, who grew up in the area of Trewyn Park, said she’s proud to be investing in the public amenities and parks there.

“It’s really an investment in people,” she said. “In terms of their quality of life, the parks provide an opportunity for r and r, that rest and relaxation, for social time. For play, play is just as important as work, and for people to come together in an environment that is nice and pleasant.”

Alex Sierra is the park district trustee for the Southern District. He said he grew up three blocks from Trewyn Park.

“For far too long, we have endured the historic challenges that have come with the disinvestment in this local community,” he said. “And I'm just appreciative and thankful that our city and our park board and both of our staff recognize that the time is now to reinvest.”

Cahill hopes the updates will bring more people out to the park this summer.

“This is a really good opportunity for people to remember, hey, it's getting warm outside, let's get outside,” she said. “Let's use these spaces in places in really smart ways. Let's be safe there. Let's really celebrate what it means to be able to have amenities like this in our community.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony, including speakers like Peoria Park District Board trustee Robert Johnson and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Illinois Field Office Director Kimberly Danna, marked the occasion and also kicked off the City of Peoria’s Community Development Week.

Ali said to expect more announcements about development and capital investments throughout the week.

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Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.