Grand opening set for June 19 for MLK Park

The new MLK Park is located at the corner of Brady and Fifth streets in Davenport and next to the MLK Interpretive Center. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The new MLK Park in downtown Davenport is about to get an official welcome to the community. A grand opening ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, at the new park, located at 501 Brady St.

The park, located in a former vacant lot at the corner of Brady and Fifth streets and next to the MLK Interpretive Center, was built in honor of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

It was in the planning stages for years before finally getting the needed funding – around $1 million – and was built by Davenport-based Estes Construction. That construction was completed last October.

“People have been loving the place. … One person made the comment ‘It feels like a  welcoming space.’ That’s exactly what we want it to be,” Ryan Saddler, the CEO of Friends of MLK, recently told the QCBJ.

Some of the features of the park include: 

  • Places for panels that will have various themes, such as civil rights history, local pioneers of civil rights, and Hispanic heritage themes.
  • A stage to host concerts and speakers.
  • Space for vendors to set up.
  • In the corner of the park is a structure that contains 12 plaques to honor the groups, businesses and people who financially supported the long-awaited park project. That structure is topped with the MLK quote: “The time is always right to do right.”
  • There also is greenspace – consisting of artificial turf, not grass – in the middle of the park. Mr. Saddler said he wanted ground material that looks good and is low maintenance.
  • There are also several benches and seats in the park.

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