The city of Sterling will receive a $1.3 million grant to make green infrastructure improvements. The project involves the revitalization of the former Northwestern Steel & Wire brownfield site.
The grant is part of $5 million in investments to 13 communities across Illinois for green infrastructure improvement projects. According to a news release, the Illinois Green Infrastructure Grants (IGIG) are designed to support projects that reduce the amount of pollution running into Illinois waterways from storm water sources and reduce the risk of localized flooding.
According to the Governor's office, the former Northwestern Steel & Wire brownfield site operated from 1879 to 2001. The Whiteside County Greenways and Trails Plan proposes a riverfront trail on the south side of the river in downtown Rock Falls, running between the Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail and the Avenue G Bridge and Lawrence Park. A trail along Sterling’s Riverfront area would create a full circuit of dedicated trails on both sides of the Rock River as it passes through Sterling and Rock Falls and connects to the Hennepin Feeder Canal Trail.
Sterling has also received $900,000 from Governor Quinn’s Mud to Parks program, which will allow 60,000 cubic yards of dredged material from Fox Lake to be used as environmentally friendly cover on the brownfield.