EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville Mayor Art Risavy announced Tuesday, February 13, 2024, that the City has acquired two parcels of greenspace – one just south of downtown and the other adjacent to Governors’ Parkway – to be preserved as Edwardsville park properties. Community members will have an opportunity later this month to share ideas for how those properties might be used and amenities that could be considered for the two sites.

Edwardsville Mayor Art RisavyThe properties purchased include .34 acres of land at 211 S. Benton Street, an empty lot at the intersection with West Park Street. It is part of the Crocker Gardens neighborhood in the City’s 4th Ward, bordering Ward 3. The other property is 3.42 acres of undeveloped land at the northeast corner of Gerber Road and Governors’ Parkway. It is located in the 7th Ward, bordering Ward 6.

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Acquisition funding was made possible by the Edwardsville Enhancement Plan, which utilizes revenue from the quarter-percent sales tax increase that took effect January 1. The City Council unanimously passed the sales tax increase last fall with a goal of acquiring and preserving greenspace, investing in City parks and new public spaces, funding future capital projects and supporting the City’s public safety pensions. Mayor Risavy said that the purchases are part of a larger plan to create a “green corridor” throughout the community that benefits all who live, work and visit Edwardsville.

An open house is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 28, in the community room of the R.P. Lumber Center, 6289 Tiger Drive, to allow the public to weigh in on possible uses or amenities for each site. “We know that this land is very important to the neighbors and look forward to hearing their ideas about its best use as greenspace,” Ward 7 Alderwoman Elizabeth Grant said. "On behalf of the residents of Ward 4, especially those who live in and around the tree-lined Crocker Gardens neighborhood, I'm thrilled that the City was able to acquire the greenspace on Benton Street," Ward 4 Alderman SJ Morrison said. "For 60 years, the Crocker Gardens area was home to the City's garden, and although we're still finalizing plans, it's my hope that this parcel can serve as a community garden once again.

"This purchase - just one of many acquisitions that we're planning - demonstrates Edwardsville's support of preserving greenspace and adding community amenities, and also illustrates our commitment to investing in our beloved historic neighborhoods," he said. Ward 6 Alderwoman Jennifer Warren echoed the City’s commitment to strategically preserving and managing greenspace. “Mother Nature just got a big hug from Edwardsville,” she said. “I feel fortunate to live in a community that values having parks and greenspace. I'm grateful to everyone who made this acquisition possible.”

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