Pop the Augie Bubble: parks

Vander Veer Botanical Park – Davenport, IA
Spanning 33-acres, Vander Veer Botanical Park is embroidered with collections of trees, stone fountains, and gardens, all unique in their annual or perennial flowers.
Numerous attractions, such as the Children’s Sculpture Garden and the Stampe Lilac Garden, foster designated sections for the preference of each visitor. For Taylor Wey, it was the stone path leading to the fountain.
“When I was younger, I visited the Luxembourg gardens in France,” says Wey. There was a beautiful pathway lined with trees and benches leading to the opening of the gardens. Vander Veer has a much shorter but similar path. It makes me feel at peace.”
Another attractive aspect of the park for Wey, aside from the blooming foliage and floral displays in the Conservatory, is the feeling of escape one can gain from visiting.
“Augie is so cozy and seeing a friendly face on campus is comforting, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to find a place that generates the same kind of clam even when you’re on your own,” said Wey.
Schwiebert Riverfront Park – Rock Island, IL
With its unique, concrete jungle style, Schwiebert Riverfront Park is a local favorite located directly on the Mississippi River in Rock Island.
The park features sculptures, a digital playground, a concrete beach, walking and running paths, along with an iconic view of Centennial Bridge.  At any time during the day, visitors will see kids playing in the park while their parents relax in the shade, or people simply relaxing on benches and enjoying the view of the river.
“Schwiebert is beautiful and a great place to go for a run,” says Augustana student Courtney Smith.  Smith is a Rock Island local and say that Schwiebert is her favorite park in the city.
Schwiebert is also the host of many events, as they have a band-shell that is the host of many concerts. Also, with its proximity to the river, you never know what sort of wildlife may be encountered.
“Feeding the ducks is fun too!” adds Smith.
Lincoln Park – Rock Island, IL
A favorite for Augustana Students, Lincoln Park is located right across the street from Andreen Hall and the Swanson Commons in Rock Island.  The park is home to a large variety of sports fields, along with acres of trees and green space.
“It’s a really big area, so there’s no shortage of places to run around with friends,” says Augustana sophomore Mary Maraist. “There’s a playground, which is always a good time.”
There are also plenty of scenic places to relax in.  Lincoln Park features multiple gazebos, benches, and flower gardens open to use for anyone in the park. It’s also a great place for families, as there are multiple playgrounds in the park.
Lincoln Park also has an outdoor amphitheater, which is home to The Genesius Guild. Genesius puts on a production every weekend over the summer, often a classic show.  When at the park during the summer, it’s not uncommon to find actors practicing Shakespeare and fight choreography.
However, the main draw to Lincoln Park will continue to be its beautiful outdoor landscape. It’s a way to get outdoors and explore for both Augustana students and Rock Island residents.
“It’s a gorgeous park and a great time for people of all ages,” says Maraist.
Other parks in the Quad Cities:
Prospect Park – Moline, IL
Butterworth Center – Moline, IL
Black Hawk State Historic Site – Rock Island, IL
Longview Park and Conservatory and Gardens – Rock Island, IL
Camden Park – Milan, IL
Credit Island Park – Daveport, IA
Middle Park – Bettendorf, IA