nature at the confluence WIFR news south beloitFrom WIFR News – June 11, 2015

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SOUTH BELOIT (WIFR) — The Rock River has been a focal point of our region for centuries and there have been many efforts to clean it up in recent years.

The area where the Rock River and the Turtle Creek meet is being transformed from a liability to an asset.

“The area has been abused for many years, nearly 100 years, by industry and sort of neglected,” says Program Coordinator for the project, Therese Oldenberg.

That area where the waters meet is being brought back to life with the creation of “Nature at the Confluence.” It’s an urban ecology center to serve as a learning facility for people of all ages. The 34 and a half acre park will be a place where people can kayak, hike on trails, fish, and spend time with nature.

“We’ll be continuing to build trails over the next few years and taking it in stages,” says Oldenberg.

Mayor of South Beloit commented on the project saying, “Quality of life is one of the things that draws in new business and people to come live in your community. It’s a fun place to be.”

The new nature center is expected to become the hub of downtown South Beloit and what Beloit leaders want people to see as they drive into the city.

There will be an event called “Meet at the Confluence” this Saturday, June 13th from 10 am until noon. Activities include a paddle trip, an open house for the nature center, and the installation of native plants. The event is registered as part of National Get Outdoors day to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.