the importance of riverfront park.
I first learned of the redevelopments being suggested for the Riverfront Park area in downtown Peoria, IL from Nick Offerman. Or, what feels like a more specific and apt descriptor, from Ron Swanson, as my brother referred to him when filling me in on the news.
Erick texted me, with this screenshot included, and said, “Hey, Ron Swanson tweeted about saving a park in Peoria!”
I immediately took heed, as Nick/Ron suggested, to see which park was being discussed, and what exactly said danger entailed. I recognized the park as one of my favorite locations to take couples for wedding and engagement sessions, for reasons that I hope will become evident to readers/viewers in the images I’m sharing within this post. From there, I made my way over to the Save Peoria’s Riverfront Park Facebook page, and then happened upon The Whiskey City Collaborative’s article on the topic as well. Once I was brought up to speed on City Council’s potential voting to replace one of the few remaining green spaces in the downtown Peoria area with an apartment complex, I was disappointed in myself for not knowing about this potential development sooner, for not informing more people of these possible changes, for not taking action to make sure this city we love doesn’t lose this beautiful space, and simply, for not joining the conversation.
One of the thoughts I keep having is, “But doesn’t everyone KNOW how gorgeous this place is?! Doesn’t everyone KNOW how valuable this park is to our downtown area?” And I realized, maybe they don’t. I had not even known this park existed until approximately a year ago, when another photographer mentioned it to me as a location she often used in the downtown area. I remember feeling as though I had stumbled upon a diamond in the rough (pardon the cliche); while I’ve always loved photographing in the Warehouse District, to discover that there was a park just minutes away full of lush trees, a well-kept pathway for walking and biking, and a view overlooking the Illinois River was ideal. In my nine years of living here, I have grown to love the city of Peoria, and because of this, I love being able to photograph clients in locations that showcase the many great aspects of this city.
As a photographer, many of my public shares are photographically based, for obvious reasons. So, it’s time for me to join the conversation by sharing some images taken at Riverfront Park this past August on Tony and Kaelee’s wedding day. Their wedding reception was located at Packard Plaza, and they had told me in the planning process that they were hoping to take photographs in a more outdoorsy, trees-and-tall-grasses-area, hoping I knew of somewhere nearby that would fit that description. I told them I knew of the perfect spot.
The City Council will be voting this evening on the Riverfront Development project. If you want to learn more about how you can be proactive and/or join the conversation, head over to Save Peoria’s Riverfront Park, or check out The Whiskey City Collaborative’s articles + updates.