Rockford Park District

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

It has been years in the making, and Wednesday, June 1, 2016, it became official. The UW Health Sports Factory is open in downtown Rockford.

The massive recreational facility on the Rock River is expected to serve the needs of sports-minded residents as well as attract amateur sports tourism. The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau held its annual luncheon at the Sports Factory, the building's inaugural event. About 700 people gathered in the $24-million facility for the official dedication.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

The 2016 Illinois Snow Sculpting Contest finally got underway Wednesday along the roadways of Sinnissippi Park in Rockford. Lack of snow had delayed the start by a week.

Several teams took advantage of the comparatively warm mid-afternoon weather to work on their snow blocks, made from manufactured snow due to the lack of suitable precipitation.

The team names defy attempts to guess the origins. They include such monikers as Vikings in Black, Kilted Snow Weasels, Quatsch-Men, The Band of Misfit Boys, and the Slacktastic 4.

Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition / ilsnowsculpting.com

The Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition has been postponed for a week because there’s just not enough snow.

The annual event was scheduled to start next Thursday at Rockford’s Sinnissippi Park. The Rockford Park District usually hauls snow from the Chicago Rockford International Airport for sculptors to use: a spokesman says what little snow is there is too dirty and icy. The 30th annual competition will now take place Jan. 27th through 30th.

Rockford Park District

MercyRockford Health System has obtained naming rights for the Rockford Park District’s tournament complexes in Rockford and Loves Park.  In return, MercyRockford will pay the district $2 million over 10 years.   The facility in Rockford will be renamed MercyRockford Sportscore 1 and the Loves Park facility MercyRockford Sportscore 2.   

Artwork provided

The multi-purpose indoor athletic facility under construction in downtown Rockford got a financial boost and a new name Thursday, thanks to UW Health.

What originally was called the Downtown Sportscore now will be known as the UW Health Sports Factory.

The parent company of Rockford’s SwedishAmerican Health System will pay roughly $1.9 million over a 10-year period to have its name and logo emblazoned on the building and various associated materials.

Nicholas Conservatory

Rockford Park District officials recently dedicated the Eclipse Lagoon at the  Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. The Conservatory just celebrated its first year in Rockford.  Since its opening, more than 50,000 people have walked through the doors.

Heat forces changes in park activities

Jun 28, 2012

Early closures and complete cancellations are among the changes implemented by the Rockford Park District due to the anticipated heat today and tomorrow. They include playground activities, a reduced golf tournament, and athletic programs for youth.

The park district is instituting mandatory cooling breaks every 15 to 20 minutes for anyone – including staff -- involved in any outdoor programs or activities. Camp and playground programs have planned more water activities, and are taking frequent rest breaks.

Windsor Lake in Loves Park will open to public recreation later this month under two agreements approved Tuesday by the Rockford Park District board.

Commissioners agreed to provide recreational services at the 12-acre private lake, located off North Alpine Road and Windsor Road in Loves Park, under a lease with Ed Carlson Sr. and family through Dec. 31, 2012.