Davenport Rotary builds gazebo at park

Levee commission waiting on grants to do more work.

The gazebo in Davenport's newest riverfront park is almost finished, and the new railing is up on about 800 feet of seawall.

As the Davenport Rotary's custom-made gazebo gets some final touches, members of the Davenport Levee Improvement Commission are eagerly awaiting word on a grant application that could mean an even bigger future for River Heritage Park.

"I guess I'd say we're cautiously optimistic," said Steve Ahrens, the Levee Commission's development director. "If we got good news, we could continue forging ahead on the area we call the promenade."

The grant application to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources asks for $300,000, he said, which would pay for the remainder of seawall railing, a concrete walkway, benches, tress and trash receptacles. Levee commissioners in May voted to install more than 800 feet of railing as a safety measure, but more is needed. The money for the railings came from several sources, including the Riverboat Development Authority and Scott County Regional Authority.

The commission’s plans also call for 19 parking spaces, beginning at the current entrance to the park, which is upstream of the gazebo.

The Davenport Rotary raised $100,000 for the gazebo, which now has a recognizable association to the club: Its four pillars each hold a tablet-like piece of concrete, containing the words to the Rotary's "four-way test."

The guideline asks, in order, these four questions for testing the morality of a situation: "Is it the truth?"; "Is it fair to all concerned?"; "Will it build goodwill and better friendships?"; "Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

The guide holds no relationship to politics nor to religious persuasion, according to the Rotary's website. The four-way test is recited at club meetings and has been translated into more than 100 languages. And it has a place of importance in the new gazebo.

Ahrens pointed out the city and levee commission want to see all seven acres of the park being used and enjoyed by the public. The DNR is expected to make a decision on the related round of grant applications Oct. 10, and an award to Davenport could expedite the additional park plans, he said.