Rock Island gets $50,000 grant to help park

Rock Island is one of the 25 communities to be awarded Hometown Grants to help community development projects, T-Mobile announced.

The $50,000 grant for Rock Island will go toward installing field lighting for the youth baseball diamond and multi-purpose field at Douglas Park. The new lighting will complete renovations at the historic park and provide more recreation and sports opportunities for the community.

“Douglas Park has such a significant sports history, and this gift will help complete the park’s renovations to ensure it is a welcoming space for our community to enjoy superior recreational and sports opportunities for years to come,” Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms said in a news release.

Located at 18th Avenue and 10th Street, Douglas Park has its place in sports history. It was the site of the first-ever National Football League contest on Sept. 26, 1920, when the Rock Island Independents defeated the non-member St. Paul Ideals 48-0.

T-Mobile formally presented the grant to the city Monday, March 28, in council chambers at Rock Island City Hall.  

To select Hometown Grant recipients, T-Mobile works with Main Street America and Smart Growth America, two organizations that have decades of experience helping build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. 

T-Mobile Hometown Grants is a $25 million, five-year initiative to support the people and organizations who help small towns across America thrive and grow by providing funding to kickstart important new community development projects.  

Since the company launched T-Mobile Hometown in April 2021, it “has given more than $3.3 million to support projects that are strengthening economic opportunity in small towns in 35 states and it’s been amazing to see how local leaders and businesses are using these funds to transform their communities,” Jon Freier, president, Consumer Group at T-Mobile, said in the release. 

Hometown Grants are awarded every quarter to up to 25 communities. T-Mobile will add 25 communities each quarter through 2026, Mr. Freier added. 

For full details on how to submit a proposal for Hometown Grants, visit

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