Sister Concetta Park in Davenport

July  11, 2014

       Some children in Davenport have some new playground equipment to climb on, thanks to a non-profit organization and some college students. Project Renewal celebrated the renovations today at Sister Concetta Park, named after its founder, Sister Concetta Bendicente.

       Executive director Ann Schwickerath remembers when Project Renewal bought the park at a city auction over twenty years ago. 

      "The weeds were as tall as a person and had rubble in it. And so, over the years, we've added playground equipment, playfall surfaces under the equipment; we've added picnic tables and a shelter."

      A group of students at Palmer College, called Operation Palmer Promotes Play, raised $65,000 to help Project Renewal pay for new sod, landscaping, and a patio.

       Schwickerath says within two decades, she has seen Project Renewal grow from a purely volunteer organization with a "shoestring budget" to an agency that serves thousands of children through after-school and summer programs. 

       "One of the neat things, too, I've seen, being here as long as I've had is kids who, maybe I met when they were 9, 10, 12 years old that are adults now and come back to us and share their good experiences and appreciation with us and seeing htem have their kids and raising them."

       Project Renewal celebrated the completion of the project and its 40th anniversary with a ceremony today at Sister Concetta Park, located at 6th and Warren in Davenport.