Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

Riverdale lights up for the holidays.

The weather cooperated, the tree was up, the presents were out and the carolers were singing when Riverdale residents started appearing at City Hall this past Saturday afternoon.

Council Member Kelly Krell spent weeks working with contractors, Public Works/Maintenance Man George Miller and other volunteers to make sure everything came off just right for the City of Riverdale’s first Holiday Lighting Celebration from 4-6pm on Saturday, December 7th. Carolers from First Presbyterian Church of Davenport sang and greeted guests as they arrived – with many of them chiming in on familiar songs.

Then just a little before the exterior lights were flipped on at City Hall, Santa arrived on a Riverdale Fire Department truck to the joy and amazement of Riverdale’s smallest citizens.

Inside, kids of all ages got to spend time with St. Nick as he shared candy canes, hugs and Christmas cheer with everyone.

Thanks to Kelly Krell, Teri Stickler (for the photos), the Riverdale Fire Department, Santa, and Matt Bishop (and the members of First Presbyterian Church Sanctuary Choir who shared their gift of music) for making the evening such a tremendous success.

We’ll be posting more photos as they become available. You can also find more photos and comments on the event by visiting the event gallery on the Riverdale Residents Facebook Group.

Pictures from the Event

Some of the photos taken at the event by resident, Teri Stickler …

More will be posted later on.

Parks planning kick-off meeting generates a few new ideas.

Parks planning kick-off meeting generates a few new ideas.

A lightly attended public information meeting regarding the future of the City’s parks still managed to come up with a few great suggestions in advance of the more formal process slated to start in January.

The meeting, chaired by Council Member Kelly Krell, invited citizens to give input on what they thought were priorities for Riverdale’s parks going forward. Here are a summary of the suggestions provided:

•  Playground equipment in Bicentennial Park and Peggy’s Park needs to be re-evaluated and upgraded. Given the cost of playground equipment, it probably makes sense to just add one or two pieces a year and work towards continually improving the parks’ playground features.

•  Trees in all the parks and the city-owned green spaces need to be groomed, maintained and in the cases where we have dead trees, removed.  Some of the dead limbs and trees near Bicentennial Park pose a hazard and should be addressed soon.*

•  There is still a lot of barbed wire along the old Welch Farm fence lines. That should probably be removed.

•  Could we install a campfire ring in Bicentennial Park? Would that pose an attractive nuisance or is there a way it could be managed to cut down on the possibility of vandalism or vagrants taking over?

•  There seem to be two kinds of park enhancements that can be made: passive and active.

Passive improvements would allow individuals to use them at their leisure and in the way they want, Examples would be more walking paths, exercise equipment along the paths, public wi-fi (limited access), more plantings, playground upgrades.

Active improvements would require the City to provide some kind of programming or on-going management to maximize their use. Examples would include a swimming pool, an amphitheater, tennis or pickleball courts, etc.

•  Tree plantings should focus on harder wood trees that take longer to grow, but last longer. Many of the trees in Riverdale’s wild places are only 60-100 years old and are approaching the end of their mature life.

•  We need to plant more grass seed on Manor Drive Hill and keep that community entrance better maintained.

•  The trees around City Hall need to be removed and new landscaping needs to be put in.

•  Riverdale should coordinate its parks planning process with EICC and PVCSD as they develop a plan to turn the forested area between the college and Belmont Road into a wetland with walking trails, etc.

• Could we find a way to use the retention basins in Woods Estates (and the possible basin near the NW corner of Riverdale) and connect those features with a wooded walking path?

• How can we better utilize the standing woods owned by the City (where the old Boy Scout trail used to run and other areas)? Can that be integrated into our plan?

•  We need to make sure we address the invasive species in these locations as we work on planting/landscaping areas.

* NOTE: The City Council did approve to do some significant work removing dead wood and pruning trees in both Bicentennial and Peggy’s Parks at the last council meeting. For more information on what kind of work will be done, click here.

Dean and Judy Hiles send in their thoughts

Circle Drive residents, Dean and Judy Hiles, were out of town and unable to attend in person, but they did send in their thoughts in an email. In their email, the HIles’ underscored the importance of involving volunteers but not relying on them to do all the work (among other things).

Dear Committee,

Our city parks are one of the attractions of our neighborhoods.  They provide a place for our children and grandchildren to play, a place for our community to gather, a place for families to gather for parties and picnics and for those who enjoy walking among nature, a place to go.  They are only attractions however, if kept free of litter and other refuse and weeds.  Respectfully, we offer the following suggestions:

• Attempt to make the landscaping functional as well as easy to maintain.  Plantings should be considered that will thrive and grow when placed in appropriate areas – sunny versus shady – and grow with minimal care.  Routine cleaning in spring, some maintenance 2 or 3 times during the growing season should be all that is required.   We think that we now have 5 parks that require attention to help Riverdale appear that we care to others.

• Find members for your committee who know something about plants and can tell the difference between a weed and a flower and are willing to maintain weed control without the use of herbicides that pretty much kill everything that grows.

• Establish a budget line item within the City Budget which allows for the maintenance of our many parks by a private contractor.  This would include cleanup in spring, mulching on an annual basis, and maintenance during the growing season of plantings as well as replacement of plantings that did not survive.  Also included should be a time of deer protection for plants for the winter months and sometimes during the growing season.  Let’s try to keep this on a professional level instead of relying on citizens to do these jobs as many do not have the time or the physical strength to do what is required.

• Think of the possibility of having a landscape plan drawn up by one of our local nurseries which can be done for a minimal price.  Local Master Gardner’s could also be very useful in this area and since they are required to provide so many hours yearly to the communities they live in would be able to contribute their knowledge.

Please try to remember, especially in timbered areas that there are many wild flowers if left undisturbed that will spread and bloom more every year. 

There are also native food plants such as mulberry trees and black raspberry, and May apple plants that if left undisturbed will multiply and produce fruit for wildlife and if an individual is lucky enough, a person who gets to pick a few berries to eat.  There are also 3 redbud trees which have been marked with pink tape at the edge of Bicentennial Park.  There is a Mountain Ash tree that given a little care could flourish.  There is a forsythia bush on one of the timbered hills in that park and a lilac stump at the edge near the front of that park  that if left alone might regrow and provide flowers in the spring. 

There are remnants of a walking path, made by an Eagle Scout for his community project, from Bicentennial Park’s southern area thru the timbered area that leads downhill to City Hall and used to be part of the running trail during the 4th of July.  Possibly that could be re-established for those who like to walk in the park.   

For reference to these area, many older residents would be more than willing and  able to show to you.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
– Dean and Judy Hiles

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section, below.

Tree removal, clean-up and on-going care scheduled for parks

Tree removal, clean-up and on-going care scheduled for parks

At its final meeting of the year, the Riverdale City Council voted to approve a significant amount of tree-removal, trimming and treatment in both Bicentennial Park and Peggy’s Park for the coming year. The combined cost of the services to be provided by Davey Tree Expert Company is $9,450.

The services to be provided include:

Peggy’s Park:
    • Removal of the Walnut tree on the east side of the property near the street.
    • Removal of the large, Green Ash tree on the east side of the property near the street.
    • Removal of the declining Silver Maple just west of the yellow, plastic jungle gym.
    • Removal of the Silver Maple tree just west of the metal playground equipment.
    • Grind out remaining stumps from tree removal.
    • Haul away excess wood and grindings.
    • Prune trees in park – raise/elevate limbs to promote upward growth and improve canopies.
    • Remove leaning Boxelder Maple near existing Spruce trees.
    • Crown clean remaining trees.

 

Bicentennial Park:
    • Prune large red oak on east property line.
    • Remove Tuliptree and Maple in the middle of the playground area.
    • Remove the Cherry tree on the west property line.
    • Remove the Black Cherry on the west property line.
    • Grind out remaining stumps from tree removal.

A copy of the resolution with a detailed breakdown of the services to be provided can be found here.

Parks long-range planning meeting set for December 16th.

Parks long-range planning meeting set for December 16th.

A public intake meeting for residents interested in the long-term future of the City’s parks has been scheduled for Monday, December 16th at 7pm. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall.

The tentative agenda for the meeting includes:

  1. Welcome
  2. Review/Approval of Agenda
  3. Mayor’s Overview of the Goals of the Long-Range Planning Process
  4. Public Input Regarding Long-Range Parks Planning
  5. Adjournment

A printed copy of the preliminary agenda can be found here.

So, what do you think our parks need?

Let us know in the comment section below what you think the parks in Riverdale need. We want to include as many voices in this process as possible.

Light up Riverdale for the holidays on December 7th!

Light up Riverdale for the holidays on December 7th!

Council Member Kelly Krell has been hard at work assembling a team and coordinating what appears to be a new, holiday tradition in Riverdale.

Please join your friends and neighbors at Riverdale City Hall on Saturday, December 7th, at 4pm as we light up for the holidays. Music, refreshments, kids’ activities, good cheer and even the possible appearance by a jolly, old elf are expected.

The event is scheduled to run from 4-6pm.

Watch our website and the Riverdale Residents page on Facebook for more details!

The event is free to residents of Riverdale and their families.

Trick-or-treating tips for a blustery (and chilly) Halloween in Riverdale.

Trick-or-treating tips for a blustery (and chilly) Halloween in Riverdale.

It looks like a chilly night for trick-or-treating – so if your kids are going out, be sure they’re bundled up. And if some chilly, little spooks come to your house, please make sure they’re out of the wind while they’re digging through your candy bowl.

Council Member posted this handy little graphic to the Riverdale Residents’ page on Facebook today and we thought we’d share (for those without a Facebook account, especially).

We also want to share a few cold-weather tips for kids (and adults) hitting the streets of Riverdale between 5 and 7pm tonight:

1.  Add a layer. Kids (especially the young ones) don’t tolerate the cold as well as adults. And since most Halloween costumes are built for cold-weather situation (unless you’re dressed as a Tauntaun), it’s good to make sure everyone has an extra layer (or two) under the costume.

2.  Make sure you’ve got traction. It’s snow boots rather than tennis shoes tonight.

3. And while you’re at it, gloves or mittens and a hat may be required as temperatures drop. Kids can always pull off the stocking cap and put on the mask for pictures (and remember, we want photos).

4.  Keep things bright. Don’t forget to make sure everyone in your Halloween party can be seen when things get dark. Sunset is at 5:58 tonight, so at least one hour of trick-or-treating will be happening as the sun comes down and night falls.

5.  Limit your time outside. Remember, little bodies get cold faster – so you would best be served by breaking your trick-or-treating into a series of smaller expeditions rather than one marathon.

6. De-ice your driveway, sidewalk and front step. Be a good neighbor (and don’t play a trick on the kiddos) by making sure you’ve reduced the slippy-slidy ice and snow from the approach to your home. After all, the little goblins will be thinking about candy and treats and not the ice and snow that lies in their way. (Check out this post on the best ways to remove snow and save your back in the process.)

7. If a trick-or-treater is a funny color, make sure it’s their costume. If you notice a child’s skin turning red, get them inside and warm them up.

Let’s keep an eye out for the littlest ones to make sure they have a fun and safe experience this Halloween.

And, seriously, if you can, please share pictures of your favorite tricksters when they come to your door tonight. You can post them to the Riverdale Resident’s Facebook Page or share them with us here by using this form.

Purple Bull 5k was a run-away hit!

Purple Bull 5k was a run-away hit!

A great time was had by all at this year’s Pete the Purple Bull 5k and Fun Run – held in Riverdale. This is the second year in a row the event has been held in our city and, this time, the City of Riverdale provided a free pancake breakfast in the Community Room at City Hall and the Riverdale Fire Department displayed the  US Flag and gave kids a chance to check out the fire trucks.

Thanks to City Council Member Kelly Krell, incoming Council Member Kevin Adams and Caroline Bawden for cooking food. Thanks also to Chris Bernard, Adrian Castillo and other members of the RVFD who helped hoist the flag, roll out the trucks and keep a particularly attentive turkey away from the festivities.

Special thanks also go out to the HABLO (an employee resource group at Arconic) and to MY PLACE in Riverdale for being sponsors of the event which helps QC United raise money to deal with bullying in our schools.

Check out all the great pictures (provided by HABLO, Kelly Krell and Kevin Adams)!

Don’t forget … the bulls will be running on Saturday morning!

Don’t forget … the bulls will be running on Saturday morning!

Just a quick reminder … the Pete the Purple Bull 5K Run and Kids’ Fun Run will be taking place in Riverdale tomorrow morning from 7:30 to 11:00 am. If you are driving through Riverdale, please be on the look out for guests who may not be aware of the traffic around them.

The race route will begin and end at City Hall and runners will be running on the MRT to the college drive, up the drive to Belmont Road, then turn around and return the same way.

Pancakes, sausages and other food will be available at 8:30 in the Community Room following race registration (which runs from 7:30 to 8:30am).

We look forward to seeing you there!

City Parks Planning Project

City Parks Planning Project

Kelly Krell, City Council Member

The City’s consulting engineer, MSA Professional Services, provided a draft of a parks planning proposal for City Council consideration. The initial draft had been reviewed with Council Member Kely Krell (who has helped drive the City’s parks and recreation projects for the past 18 month or so).

The current draft is under consideration by the Council who will discuss it in more detail at their 10/22 meeting. The cost for the consulting services is $12,600.

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The proposal from MSA consists of three parts:

PART 1: Project kickoff and analysis of existing conditions; work will include development of maps of the existing parks and recreational facilities in the City of Riverdale; development of a map of the existing park service areas and the creation of a map showing existing trail and pedestrian systems.

PART II: Community engagement; work will include both face-to-face and online engagement of members of the community to gain their input and insights into what should be done with Riverdale’s natural assets.

PART III: Needs Assessment and Plan Development. 

Budget:

Consulting Services Budget = $12,600

Project Bid Date:

October 22, 2019

Project Start Date:

TBD

Project Completion Date:

TBD

 

 

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Fall Fest washed out by the weather.

Fall Fest washed out by the weather.

Fall Fest was cancelled Saturday afternoon (October 5) due to in climate weather – but not before we were able to take a few sad shots after everyone had gone home and site clean-up was underway.

Special thanks to City Council Member, Kelly Krell, for all the hard work she put into lining up vendors, recruiting student helpers, setting up and tearing down (in the rain).

We’ve also added some pictures Kelly took before the rain hit.

Who’s on to help with Fall Fest 2020? Let us know if you can help.

(Updated) Be sure to come to Riverdale Fall Fest on October 5th!

(Updated) Be sure to come to Riverdale Fall Fest on October 5th!

Plans continue to develop for this year’s Riverdale Fall Fest at Bicentennial Park on Saturday, October 5 (2-4pm). If you’re interested in lending a hand in this new, city tradition, you can let us know by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page and sending us a message through the website.

Be sure to save the date on your calendar and make  your plans to attend and enjoy:

  • Food from the Hy-Vee Grill (burgers, dogs, chips and drinks)
  • Ice treats from Kona Ice
  • A bounce house obstacle course
  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Magic by RJ Regul
  • Live music from QC Vinyl

All of this is free to residents of Riverdale and their families.

Don’t forget, for future updates on plans, activities and events, you can check back here (on the City’s website) or on the Riverdale Residents Facebook Page.

Riverdale seeks qualified consultants to conduct a vegetation study in 2020

Riverdale seeks qualified consultants to conduct a vegetation study in 2020

(Update 09/24/19) – The City of Riverdale has issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) from a qualified arborist or vegetation consultant to conduct a study of invasive species in the City’s parks and wild spaces during calendar year 2020.

The City Council approved RESOLUTION 2019-37, which authorized the publication and distribution of the RFP to qualified vendors/consultants. The budget for the project was set at $10,000. Earlier this year, the City set aside up to $20,000 to study the invasive species problem in Riverdale and deal with it accordingly.

A copy of the RFP can be found here. The study is expected to be conducted in the areas indicated as “Active Parks” and “Vacant” areas on the map.

(NOTE: This map of the City of Riverdale with areas of particular interest can be downloaded here.)

Project Details:

Scope of Work:

The City of Riverdale seeks the services of an arborist or certified professional to identify which plants exist in which public (or City-owned) areas of the City. A comprehensive herbaceous and woody plant survey is expected. Sampling conducted for the survey should occur in all four seasons throughout the calendar year 2020. A complete copy of this RFP can be viewed by clicking here.

Budget:

$ 10,000 (estimated)

Project Bid Date:

Proposals due: November 30, 2019 (see RFP for a more detailed schedule)
Selection made: December 10, 2019

Project Start Date:

Work begins: January 1, 2020
Study completed: December 31, 2020

Project Completion Date:

Report to City Council due: January 31, 2021

 

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