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Pekin residents take things into their own hands by building a new park

For one Pekin couple living in a neighboorhood without parks close by for their children to play at was unacceptable, so they decided to create their own.

“A dire need in this neighborhood for this park. When we would come home at night the kids would all be playing in the street, our cars are all parked there so it was in there way. Like you see on TV they would yell ‘car’ and run to one side,” Pekin resident Mike Neville said.

Neville and his wife Allie are rolling up their sleeves to change this.

“We don’t want little kids crossing over 14th Street to go play at the Pekin Park. We decided this was an empty lot, it was kind of run down so we decided to do something with it,” Allie Neville said.

Thanks to the help of volunteers the new park already has its soon-to-be slide riders excited.

“I think it’s cool because kids don’t really have to walk if they live nearby they can ride their bikes or just walk down here and they can play at the park. They don’t have to walk past the busy street and stuff,” Pekin resident Shyann Foley, 11, said.

The couple worked with the city council and the Community Improvement Project of Pekin to bring the park to life with donations pouring in from the community.

“If we could just get the mindset to everybody to say hey let’s get together we can do these things. So much it falls back and people say hey we pay taxes so the city should be doing this for me. They do a lot but it only goes so far,” Mike Neville said.

For Mike Neville, teaching children about giving back through this project is the cherry on top.

“I think it’s awesome that they came together to make this park for the kids that kids that don’t really get to go to the park,” Pekin Resident Kiara Marler, 13, said.

For more information on how you can help visit their Facebook Page

Stephanie Rodriguez

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