Recognizing Our Community

In recognition of our outstanding citizens, the City annually presents the Citizen of the Year Award.

Community Recognition

Because Rock Island leads the way when it comes to the arts, cultural festivals, quality of life, downtown revitalization, and historic preservation, the City has received the following awards.

Awards for Schwiebert Riverfront Park

Quad City Riverfront Council / Bi-State Regional Commission awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for Schwiebert Riverfront Park. American College of Engineering Companies of Iowa gave an Award for Engineering Excellence in the Special Projects Category for Schwiebert Riverfront Park and Flood Protection. National Association of Women in Construction gave the Park a Lorraine D. Wright Award 2009/10 for Outstanding Construction Project – Park / Bike Trail / New Construction.

Quad City Riverfront Council / Bi-State Regional Commission Awards

The Trail Connection to Veteran’s Memorial Bridge at Carr’s Crossing recieved a Certificate of Appreciation in 2011.

National Association of Women in Construction

Augustana College Central Campus Multi-Use Trail received a Lorraine D. Wright Award 2009/10.

Eddy Awards

The City of Rock Island won a 2010 Eddy Award in revitalization for the hydroelectric plant and one in design for Schwiebert Riverfront Park. Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation won a 2009 Eddy Award in design from River Action for the McKesson Lofts Green Roof. City of Rock Island won a 2009 Eddy Award for revitalization for the Centennial Bridge Visitor Center.

Environmental Hero Award

State of Illinois Lt. Governor saluted the City for its forward-looking green initiatives and presented the City with a 2008 Environmental Hero Award. Awards are made to recognize the commitment to providing and maintaining a healthful environment for current and future generations in Illinois.

Rock Island and Davenport are Most Livable Cities

Rock Island and Davenport have been awarded First Place honors in the 2007 City Livability Awards Program, sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Waste Management. For the past 28 years, cities have competed for this very prestigious award, which recognizes mayoral leadership for developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities. The City Livability Award was given for Davenport and Rock Island’s RiverVision Plan, a far-reaching and broadly participatory waterfront development plan.

Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) awarded the City with a Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, commonly called the audit. This is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. This marks the thirtieth year the City has received this award.

Also, a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award was given for the City's budget for the fiscal year 2010-11 document. In order to receive the award the budget must be proficient in all categories including: a policy document, a financial plan, and operations guide, and a communications device. The City has received this award since 1987, or 24 years.

Tree City USA

Rock Island has been named a Tree City USA community for 21 years. The program promotes tree planting and care programs in urban areas and calls public attention to the economic, health, and aesthetic benefits trees offer.

Seven Wonders of Illinois

Black Hawk State Historic Site was voted one of the Seven Wonders of Illinois. After thousands of votes were cast, this historic site emerged as a winner. The site features a tree-lined park with walking paths along the scenic Rock River, and pays homage to the Sauk and Mesquakie (Fox) Native American tribes who occupied the area as far back as 12,000 years ago.

Radish Award

The City of Rock Island received a 2008 Radish Award from Radish Magazine, one of ten given in the Quad Cities. The Mayor and City Council have led city staff and employees in a series of ongoing initiatives that embody environmental stewardship and leadership. These efforts include signing the Kyoto Protocol, buying a hydropower plant and establishing a 'Green Team.'

Savvy Award

Rock Island won a Savvy Award, one of the most prestigious recognitions for marketing communities from 3CMA (City-County Marketing & Communications Association). The Rock Solid, Rock Island branding strategy won the 2006 Savvy Award in the branding / new logo category for cities with a population up to 463,000. There were thirteen entrants, and Rock Island beat Miami Beach, FL and Reno, NV to win the top award.

Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award

Sala Flats was one of nine projects to receive the 2006 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation.

Presidents' Arts Friendly Community Award

The City of Rock Island has received the 2005 Presidents’ Arts Friendly Community Award from the Illinois Arts Alliance Foundation and Illinois Municipal League. Rock Island was selected as a model for how mayors and other municipal leaders can work with artists, arts organizations, and volunteers to improve quality of life for residents. The city was nominated by Quad City Arts for implementing, maintaining and growing The Downtown Rock Island Arts and Entertainment District.

Urban Innovation in Illinois Award

All across Illinois, local governments demonstrate originality and creativity, increasing service per dollar and improving quality of life. Rock Island residents are encouraged to manage storm water by creating rain gardens. Rock Island is one of five winners of the Urban Innovation in Illinois 2006 Awards Competition.

Preserve America Award

Rock Island was designated a Preserve America community. The Preserve America initiative is a White House effort to encourage and support community efforts for the preservation and enjoyment of America’s priceless cultural and natural heritage.

Award of Excellence

Rock Island won the prestigious 2005 Award of Excellence from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA).

Included in Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love

The Rock Island Library is included in the first book to sing the praises and show the beauty of public libraries. "Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love" will feature only eighty libraries in the United States.